From Irish Shooting Politics:
Received today by email (beating the response from Labour to the email inbox):
Thank you for your e-mail. Fine Gael is supportive of target shooting and the use of firearms by sport clubs. However, we also recognize that there is a real need for strict regulation and control of firearms. If elected to government, Fine Gael would continue regulating firearms, while giving due regard to those using them for sport, so as not to hinder there participation in events.
Fine Gael Campaign 2011
And responded to:
Thank you for your response Ashley, but could I ask for some further details with respect to your party’s intentions if a Fine Gael TD were appointed as Minister for Justice in the area of the Firearms Act?
- Would there be plans to increase the current level of regulation or to roll back the current level in order to harmonise our regulations with other EU states?
- Would (s)he be willing to remove centerfire target pistols from the Restricted Firearms list, thus allowing them to be licenced again?
- Would (s)he be willing to deregulate target shooting airguns up to 7.5 Joules of muzzle energy as opposed to the current 1 Joule permitted under the Act in order to promote Olympic target shooting in Ireland?
- Would they address the issues raised by medical associations regarding the application for a firearms licence and its implicit – but deemed insufficient by the GPs – granting of permission to Gardai to access medical records?
- Would they be willing to widen the remit of the Firearms Consultation Panel, to make it a permanent body to facilitate access to technical expertise for the Department and to strengthen communications links between the target shooting sports governing bodies and the Department and the Gardai to ensure the smooth working of the Firearms Act?
- What would they intend to do at a strategic level to alleviate the current problems with licencing which have resulted in nearly 200 cases being taken against Garda Superintendents in the District Courts at great expense to all?
And responded back:
Thank you for your queries. At this junction Fine Gael has no plans to change the current regulations and legislation concerning firearms. We would welcome any proposals you may have on how to amend current firearms legislation.
Fine Gael Campaign 2011
And a final reply from myself:
Thank you Ashley, but if Fine Gael has no plans to change the status quo, it would seem that that constitutes a plan to maintain the status quo.
However, I would like to invite you to engage with the shooting community on the topic on http://shooting.boards.ie. Given that there are approximately 200,000 licenced firearms holders in the state, it might be considered worthwhile.
Further responses to be posted if they arrive..