Friday, 6 September 2019

Questions (609)

Michael Healy-Rae


609. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will address a matter regarding the deactivation of old guns (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35723/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

Under section 6 of the Firearms and Offensive Weapons Act 1990, as amended, deactivated or defective firearms, not capable of being fired, may be kept on the written authorisation of the local Garda Superintendent. 

As the Deputy may be aware, on 8 April 2016, a regulation came into effect and introduced new EU-wide standards for deactivated firearms - the European Commission Implementing Regulation 2015/2403 establishing common guidelines on deactivation standards and techniques for ensuring that deactivated firearms are rendered irreversibly inoperable.  It has subsequently been amended by Commission Implementing Regulation 2018/337, which came into effect in 2018. 

Accordingly and since April 2016, a two-step process is involved, whereby the firearm is firstly deactivated in accordance with the technical requirements of the revised Regulation, followed by an independent verification of this deactivation by a competent public authority appointed by Member States within each jurisdiction. 

The first step may be carried out by any Registered Firearms Dealer in Ireland.  Arrangements for appointment of a competent public authority in Ireland are currently being progressed by my Department.  Pending appointment of such a competent public authority in Ireland, the deactivation of firearms may be verified by the Competent Authority in any other Member State.