Positive news for a change…

Today the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality issued the following statement:

The Oireachtas Joint Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality has this morning agreed to seek a range of academic perspectives as part of its on-going consideration of a recent review of firearms licencing issues. The Committee hopes that the input of experts, with independent analysis of the current trends in Ireland and optimum policy in other jurisdictions, will assist the Committee as it considers this complex policy area.

The Committee has also agreed to write to the Minister for Justice and Equality Frances Fitzgerald to ask her to consider requesting the Garda Inspectorate to independently assess the procedures and practices related to firearms licencing and the proposals contained in the Firearms Review, which was published by the Joint Department of Justice and Equality / Garda Síochána Working Group last November.
Following a call for public submissions, the Committee hosted a series of meetings in December and January with both the Working Group and representatives of shooting clubs with concerns around the Review’s findings. A delegation from the Committee also visited Garda HQ and Nurney Firing Range last month to hear at first hand the differing perspectives on the issue.
Committee Chairman David Stanton TD says: ““Having issued a call for public submissions and hosted valuable discussions on the Review’s findings in Leinster House, the Committee understands that there are differing perspectives on the holding of firearms and firearm licensing. The visits to Garda HQ and the Nurney firing range last month– and the detailed briefings received – helped to further inform the Committee in shaping our own response to the Review.
“This an extraordinarily complex and emotive policy area, and the Committee remains intent on charting a balanced and proportionate course as it weighs up the strong arguments on both sides. We are acutely conscious that any policy decisions taken in this area must be underpinned by reliable statistics and an understanding of best practice in other jurisdictions. With this in mind, the Committee is now seeking advice from leading academics working in the area, and may decide to invite them to engage with the Committee at future public hearings. The Committee also agreed to ask Minister Fitzgerald to give consideration to engaging the Garda Inspectorate to conduct an independent analysis of the issues at hand.”

3 thoughts on “Positive news for a change…

  • In my opinion firearm licences ,must be something similar to drivers licences,every category must be tested individually ,and only after you prove your skils in airgun(no licence)can apply for .22,and after only you are an international shooter, can be awarded centre fire pistol licence.

    • I don’t agree with the idea of progression being legislated for like that Tomas, and there’s a principle in the law that says that proficiency in shooting (ie. being an international level shooter) is not mandatory for people looking to take part in the sport – and that principle was introduced by a past Minister. It’s the same idea as not requiring every golfer to try to be Tiger Woods; some people just want to putter about the golf course on a sunday morning for fun, and that’s perfectly fine.

      If someone wants to shoot centerfire pistol, for example, learn to shoot centerfire pistol. The idea of doing an “apprenticeship” on another kind of firearm they don’t really want to use runs completely counter to the very core of the licencing system which has as its very first test for a licence application:
      – Do you have a good reason to have this firearm?

      If the “good reason” were “I don’t want it, but I want this other one and I have to use this one to get that one” then the system would be broken.

      Individual competency certification is certainly possible, but you’d want to be careful not to break it down too finely – shotgun, rifle, pistol, that’s one thing but if you had sixty or seventy categories (and even in Ireland you could do that), the system would become unworkable.

      • I think is a good solution more commercial shooting ranges,for recreational shooters, where they can try even machine guns,no need to have your own,if you are not profesional athlete,can use one of the club gun.

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