Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Questions (272)

John McGuinness


272. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the consultation that took place between his Department and the stakeholders relative to SI 420/2019; if an organisation (details supplied) was involved in the consultation; if the text used by other EU countries was examined when implementing EU directive 2017/853; if the concerns being expressed by stakeholders will be considered; if the SI will be amended accordingly; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39585/19]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

As Minister for Justice and Equality, I signed the European Communities (Acquisition and Possession of Weapons and Ammunition) Regulations 2019 (SI No. 420 of 2019) into law on 2 August 2019 and circulated to members of the Firearms Consultative Panel and Registered Firearms Dealers. It has also been published on the website of the Department of Justice and Equality, along with a guidance note.

These regulations came into effect on 1 September 2019. They give effect to EU Directive 2017/853/EU which enhances controls on the acquisition and possession of firearms.

As part of this process, all registered firearms dealers were invited to a consultation meeting with Department of Justice and Equality officials in Mullingar in August 2018, at which the new EU Directive was discussed.

It was not possible to organise a further consultation in advance of the making of the Statutory Instrument, between completion of the drafting process end July 2019; and signature by the Minister, beginning of August 2019, due to significant time pressure for completion of the process in the context of infringement proceedings against Ireland on the matter.

I can also say that my officials met recently with representatives of the organisation referred to by the Deputy, to allow them to outline their concerns in relation to the matter. The organisation referred to has also made a submission to the Department, setting out their concerns and alternative suggestions in relation to the matter.

My Department is considering the matters raised and will consult with the Office of the Attorney General where relevant.