Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (886)

Jim O'Callaghan

Question:

886. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of authorisations provided to keep a deactivated firearm in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019. [33118/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I wish to advise the Deputy that deactivated or defective firearms, not capable of being fired, may be kept, on the written authorisation of the local Garda Superintendent under Section 6 of the Firearms and Offensive Weapons Act 1990, as amended.

I am informed by the Garda authorities that authorisations for deactivated firearms have only been recorded centrally by An Garda Síochána since November 2018. They have further advised that, to date, 578 authorisations in relation to deactivated firearms have been recorded centrally on the new Garda database.

Authorisations granted after April 2016 now require the firearm to first comply with the deactivation specifications set out in Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/2403, as amended. This Regulation introduced new EU-wide standards for deactivated firearms to ensure that they cannot be reactivated. An Garda Síochána has also advised that the vast majority of the authorisations recorded centrally by An Garda Síochána are for firearms deactivated prior to April 2016 and these are not subject to the provisions of the Regulation, provided they are not sold, or ownership transferred.

The Garda authorities further advise that the ‘good reason’ nominated by the majority of applicants seeking such authorisations relate to heirlooms or sentimental value, where firearm owners seek to retain their firearm, but no longer have a desire or satisfy the ‘good reason’ requirement to actually use the firearm again.