Like I said earlier, the new licencing system on the Gardai’s end seems to have worked well, taking four working days to get the licence applications examined and approved. Once my notice of the licences being granted arrived, I went over to the GPO on Saturday evening and at the desk gave them the application granted notice, paid my €240 by laser card (three licences. ouch), and the chap behind the desk gave me back a receipt. But payment was sent directly into the computer system there and then. Come Monday morning, the company that prints the licences in Co.Clare printed them up and dropped them in the post, and they arrived in my postbox this Wednesday morning. So from start to finish, the entire process from application form in to licences back into my grubby little paws took 13 days (about six hours under 13 days actually).
Of course, there were one or two minor hitches – those and a look at the licences themselves after the break…
So here’s the licences as they arrived in the post. First the Air Rifle:
And for the Smallbore Rifle:
And for the Air Pistol:
It’s not a bad format, though the actual cards you peel off for the licences themselves aren’t the most robust of things. They certainly wouldn’t last the three years unless you put them in the small plastic pouches that come with the letter and never take them out – personally, I’m going to laminate mine first chance I get.
There are also niggles with the licences themselves in the details on them. For example, the Air Rifle licence’s ammunition limit:
See, you can’t buy air rifle pellets in quantities of less than 500 (that’s one tin), and it’s more usual to buy in sleeves (ten tins, 5000 pellets). So that’s going to have to get fixed. Hell, I’ve had more than a hundred pellets as debris in my kitbag from a burst tin or two in the past. And it’s inert lead, no powder or anything, so it’s hardly a safety issue unless you’re chewing them…
There’s also the niggles of the actual serial numbers being out on the air rifle (there’s a leading zero that isn’t on the paperwork thanks to PULSE) and the calibre on the smallbore rifle:
And for completeness, the pistol licence. There’s a degree of difference in my new address being split over two lines, but it’s the same address so I guess there’s no major issue there.
There’s no real difference between the three in appearance, which is a bit of a shame in some ways. In fact the general appearance of the three is somewhat underwhelming. It’ll be interesting to see how they’re viewed by the customs lads in Dublin, Amsterdam and Finland as we go to the training camp in Kuortane this weekend…