How do I apply for a firearms licence?

Well, for a start, it’s not that complicated. There’s only one form to fill out and not too much to fill out on it.

Unfortunately, since I wrote the above, the situation has changed considerably. There is still only the one form to fill out, but it’s gone from a fairly simple one-page affair to a nine-page affair (though you only fill in six of those nine pages). The guts of the procedure haven’t changed enormously, however more information is now sought, and there are more things to do before applying.

Basicly, once you know what kind of rifle or pistol you’re applying for a licence for and what it’s serial number is (your firearms dealer will tell you what that is, and will probably walk you through the whole procedure as well), you download an FCA1 form from the Garda website and fill it out.

The Garda who will process the form (there’s usually one or two Gardai per station who are assigned to handle firearms licencing) will want to have a chat with you, to see why you want the firearm, and to generally ensure that you’re not a threat to the public. He or she will usually go over the form with you to ensure it’s all correct. It’s usually a good idea, therefore, to call the station before you go there to see if that garda is on duty and to let him or her know you’re coming in to file the form, as a courtesy.

There’s an €80 fee for the licence, which is valid for three years from the date of issue, regardless of the type of firearm being licenced.

The first page is relatively straightforward. A photo is required; standard passport photos are what’s sought here. Take note however, that you must specify whether it is a normal or a restricted firearm. For ISSF firearms, all of our firearms are unrestricted and you simply specify “Firearm Certificate” in Section 1.

Section 2 is very straightforward. Anything in the form marked with an (M) is mandatory and must be filled in. Anything with (c) is mandatory if it applies – so for example, if you have a secondary residence, you must fill in the details.

Note that in section 2.2 here, it is mandatory to complete the section and filling it in gives the Gardai permission implicitly to access your medical records.

Also note that in section 2.3, your referees will probably be called. Generally, most people seem to be using other members of their club or their family as referees.

In section 2.5 here, proof of competence, those who’ve held firearms before can specify that as proof; failing that, it’s not really possible to say what qualifies as proof. There is currently no list of accepted courses or other training activities that the Gardai will always accept as this proof; it’s best to call your local station and ask. There are various courses in the country at the moment; ask which one the Gardai recommend. Be advised that some courses may not be directly applicable – the NARGC handling course, for example, is not in general very applicable to ISSF target shooting.

In section 3 note that ‘repeater’ means a rifle with a magazine and either a bolt action or a level action or whatever. And that in section 3.2, ‘Sights’ refers to night vision or thermal sights. ISSF firearms don’t have either, nor do we use silencers so you can leave those blank.

For a new firearm, you’ll want to fill in section 3.3; section 3.4 only applies if you’re changing from one to another. Most of the details in section 3.3 can be obtained from the dealer or the person you’re buying the rifle from. For section 3.5, the Firearms (Secure Accomodation) Order 2009 basicly says (for ISSF firearms) that you need a gunsafe. The Gardai may wish to inspect this gunsafe. They may also wish for the local Crime Prevention Officer to evaluate your home’s security in the process.

Note that in section 4.1 you may want to request somewhere around 10,000 rounds under the “Maximum number of Rounds of Ammunition applied for”. It does sound enormous, but in reality, it isn’t. If you’re getting an air rifle or pistol, pellets are sold in tins of 500, which are often sold in sleeves of ten tins. If you’re getting a smallbore rifle or pistol, rounds are sold in boxes of 50, which are usually packaged in pairs, then in bricks of five pairs. And if you’re getting serious about competing in a few years, you may be buying batch-tested ammunition (where you go to the factory and spend a morning shooting ten or twenty rounds from several different batches of ammunition until you find the best match to your rifle – at which point you buy a minimum of 10,000 rounds of ammunition from that batch!).

So you will actually find that 10,000 round limit useful, if not outright necessary. And, as the default figure supplied if you don’t specify one is 100 rounds (you can’t even buy that few air rifle pellets!), it’s usually a good idea to specify a figure yourself. Obviously, it’s a good idea if you’re buying this much ammunition to get a lockbox to keep it in – these aren’t going to break the bank, and it’s an excellent idea from a security viewpoint, as well as a safety viewpoint, especially if there are children at home.

And note that ISSF requirements in this are rather odd, in Ireland. You will definitely want to explain the above to your local Garda, because 10,000 rounds will sound enormous to him as well unless he knows that you’re shooting ISSF disciplines. Again, call ahead, let him know.

This is the last page that you fill in. Most of section 5 doesn’t apply to ISSF shooters; we just sign the declaration. Sections 6, 7, 8 and 9 are filled out by the Gardai.

Once the form is filled in and filed with the local station, you will receive a reply within three months. You may get an official letter stating the licence has been received. This does not guarantee the licence will be granted! If you do not receive the letter, don’t panic, it’s not a sign something has gone wrong. If you do, it’ll look like this:

Air Rifle receipt of application

Within the three months from the application date (and generally much faster than that), you’ll receive a second letter stating whether or not the licence has been granted. If it has, you must pay the €80 fee. Some Post Offices (the list is on the Garda website here) will take the money (or laser card or whatever) at the desk; if not, the form at the bottom of the grant letter must be sent back to the indicated address:

Air Rifle licence granted notice

Once the payment is sent, the licence should be with you within a few days:

The actual licence itself is the yellow plastic card at the bottom left:

In the event that you are refused; or in the event that you do not hear back from the Gardai within the three months (which is legally the same as being refused and notified of that refusal), the refusal can, if you so wish, be appealed at the local District Court. In the event that this happens, I would strongly urge you to contact your NGB before proceeding. It may be possible to resolve things less confrontationally. For ISSF rifle/pistol shooters, email; for ISSF shotgun shooters, email and detail what has happened.

96 thoughts on “How do I apply for a firearms licence?

  • Hi,

    Do I need to be a member of a gun club to apply for a licence.

    Or can I just buy a gun and apply for a licence?

    • The answer depends on whether you’re talking about hunting or target shooting:

      • If by “gun club” you mean the normal local hunting gun club, then no; but you will need permission to shoot over land.
      • If by “gun club” you mean a target shooting range like WTSC, then yes, and you’ll have to have “target shooting” as your good reason for applying for the licence as well; and if you’re applying for a pistol licence, this is the only route permitted.

      More information on the forum here:

    • Yes, there’s a training licence; you have to be 14 or older, the firearm has to be on a full licence to someone the Gardai consider suitable to act as your instructor and they have to agree to it. You apply for it using the FCA1 form.

    • It depends on what you mean by “target course”.
      There is a requirement that you prove competency with a firearm for the licence; what comprises that proof is down to your local Superintendent. Most will accept the various courses run by different bodies and clubs, but there’s no set standard syllabus or course, each differs and none have a guarantee that they will be accepted by the Gardai, so you should always ask your Super which course he or she accepts before you sign up for them. There are also other proofs accepted – if you’re on a training licence to learn from an instructor, or if you’ve joined a club to be trained by them, or if you’ve owned firearms before; these are all examples of accepted proofs. Again, you have to talk to your Superintendent to find out what he or she is looking for.

      An important note is that it is proof of competency, not proficiency; the test is “can you shoot safely”, not “can you shoot well”. Otherwise, you would have to be good before you’d ever learnt to shoot, which would be plainly unworkable!

  • I am looking to buy an airgun and get a licence but i live in a city ? I have permission to go to my friends farm and hung vermin . Do you think that i will have trouble getting a licence ?

    • The local superintendent might think that it’s an odd use; the exact details would be fairly central to his decision. Beyond that I can’t give you an answer I’m afraid, this is one of the many “You have to ask your superintendent” questions.

  • I had a shotgun licence 18 years ago, but my house was broken into and the gun was stolen. Do you think I will have trouble applying for a licence again .

    • It depends on the security measures you had in place at the time, your background and a dozen other things. Honestly John, the only real answer is “you have to ask your local Superintendent”. Sorry.

  • I’m looking for a gun that shots rubber bullet and makes noise or it can just make noise. Can I have such thing for self defence? Or gun that is shooting pepper bullets?

  • I presently have a legally held shotgun for the las t twenty Years I want to purchase a .22 Calibre Rifle What is the procedure in my case

  • Hi wondering if anyone can help me. I have a shotgun and rifle the last 5 years. I’m not a member of a gun club I just shoot and hunt gane outdoors. I’m interested in moving on to get a pistol now for a bit of target shooting. Wondering what the odds are on this? Thanks

    • For air or smallbore pistol shooting, very good, but you would have to become a member of a shooting range. Without that membership, the application would be refused. For larger calibre pistol shooting, that’s not an option at the moment; no new licences for restricted short firearms can be issued (and currently “restricted short firearm” is defined as everything other than air pistols, single-shot .22lr pistols, and semi-auto pistols or revolvers with a five-round capacity).

  • I have Sent off an Application for a O/U shotgun its nearly 9 months now and I haven’t received any information about the licence, because of this I traded in my trap gun to to buy a game gun now I’ve sent away for my substitute its now 4 weeks and nothing what do I need to do?

    • First thing to do is to call the local station Noel; substitutions are a very fast turnaround if it’s a straight like-for-like changeover and that usually takes less than a fortnight even when the station’s busy. The actual application though, there’s a three month statutory limit on that – if they don’t respond inside three months, it’s deemed to be a refusal and that you have been notified. Sometimes however, this is down to your paperwork falling between two desks in the station; again, first thing is give them a call and find out if it was actually refused or if it’s just been held up.

      If it has been refused, you’re currently out of luck because it’s been so long (there’s a time limit on appealing a decision refused that way) and you’ll have to resubmit the application; if it’s refused again, you have the option of taking it to the District Court at the moment. That’s going to change, you will have the ability to take it to a civilian body first for an independent review, but that body only got announced last Friday (four days ago) and we won’t see it in place for a while yet, so you’re looking at the DC for at least the coming year.

      But I really would give the local lads a call first. Most of the time this stuff is down to paperwork being pushed below actual police work in the station rather than anything worth going to court over.

  • I what to buy a shot gun. do i buy the gun before i get the licence,? and do i have to do a training course ,i have a farm at home and a herd number and just want it for shooting at birds and foxes .just want to no the easyest way out

    • You do buy the gun first but you don’t take possession of it. You put down a deposit with the firearms dealer, he keeps the firearm and gives you the serial number, you use that to apply for the licence. If you get the licence, you pay the remainder of the price for the gun to the dealer and take possession of it then. Be sure to check with the dealer about what happens to your deposit if you don’t get the licence – some have been refusing to return it. Where you stand there on consumer rights I’m not sure, but it always struck me as being a dodgy way to run a business.

  • Hi there,

    Was looking into getting a pistol licence and applying for a ppk .22lr. Was wondering if they’re are any security requirements that you need to have in place at home to store the gun. Like monitored alarms, gun safe etc.

    • Yes, there are; at a bare minimum (assuming it’s your first firearms licence) you would need a gunsafe (there are standards regarding the kind of safe and how it’s mounted and so forth). However, that’s the bare minimum; the local Superintendent is within his rights to ask for more security than that and pistol licence applicants tend to be asked to pay more attention to security than other applicants.

  • could you offer some advice on a farmer being annoyed by harriers & hounds who use his land adjacent land for their hunting of foxes. unfortunately farmer has now got himself into trouble by using his licenced fire arm to warn them off.

  • Where can I get the papers to fill out I’m 16 in Feb and I would like to own a rifle because lurcher hunting is bit boring

    • I don’t think too many people have done that here Cormac, doing so safely is nontrivial. However, legally, it should be possible to build your own, but if you were doing it for cost reasons, it wouldn’t work. The problem is that there’s no way you could get the licence for it before you’d be in possession of it; the moment you finished making even one component part, you’d be in possession of a firearm and in breach of the law (and not in a trivial way). You’d probably have to get a registered firearms dealer’s licence, and that would cost you a five figure sum readily after the licence fee and complying with the requirements of the licence for secure storage and so on. Not to mention, the equipment you’d need to buy to do it at all (let alone safely) is going to cost more than most firearms sell for new.

  • Hi how long does it usually take for a rifle application to be processed? Also can it be refused even though i currently have a 12g shotgun? Thanks

    • Usually it’s done in 2-4 weeks depending on the station. Legally if it takes more than three months, you are deemed to have been refused and notified of the refusal (but I would always call the station first to confirm that your application has not just been put on the to-do-list and forgotten about for months, because a phone call is less expensive than hiring the solicitor for the district court).

      And yes, technically, it can be refused even though you have a shotgun, but it’s unlikely so long as you meet the requirements of section four.

  • Hello .I wish to sell/gift my old SB shotgun to a friend who has a shotgun already. Is the fee for second license the same again. I know it used to be only a small fee for second shotgun.

  • Hi there,

    I am originally from Bulgaria, but live and work in Ireland.
    I have Firearm License from Bulgaria, and possess 2 semi-auto pistols (9×19 and .22 LR), and smooth barrel O/U shotgun. The license I have for pistols is self-defence and target shooting, and smooth barrel for hunting.
    As it appears, I will be staying here for longer than planned, is there any way that I can practice my hobby here and to bring my firearms from Bulgaria to here?


    • The shotgun and the .22lr pistol you could bring here. You’d need either a europass and your Bulgarian licence and to fly in with them yourself; or you could apply for a licence here if you’ll be here long enough (and have been here long enough, there’s a six-month residency requirement) and have them imported (you need to apply for a licence in the usual way from the Gardai and also apply for an import permit from the Department of Justice).
      The 9×19 pistol is right out, however, you cannot licence that here. You *might* be able to import it on the europass, but I’m not sure. I wouldn’t risk it myself.
      Also note that self-defence is not an acceptable good reason under section four when applying for a pistol (or any other kind of firearms) licence.

  • Hi, I have a .22 magnum rifle and thinking of getting a .308, what will i need to apply for it.
    Thank you.

    • Same as you need for any other firearm in Ireland; a good reason to have it, a safe place to use it, a secure place to store it, and not to be banned from holding a licence. And you just fill out the licence application form as normal.

  • Hi i bought a air rifle but i want to use it for parts for another gun! I havent lisenced it yet as i bought it off a guy i know who has it already lisenced, the gun wont ever be used again does it still have to be lisenced by me or what do i do?

    • Yes, you have to licence it – even if it’s disassembled, the component parts are still legally a firearm. Until you do, unless it’s locked away in the previous owner’s safe, you risk being charged with possession of an unlicenced firearm, which carries a maximum penalty of five years and ten thousand euro in fines.
      The previous owner also has to file an FCA2 form with the Gardai indicating that he has sold it on to you.
      And I would urge you not to use it for parts for another rifle unless you know what you’re doing; air rifles are generally very safe when in use, but if you’re fiddling with the innards and make a mistake, the failure modes include some pretty spectacular catastrophic ways to fail. Of the blow-up-in-your-face variety, if it’s a precompressed air rifle.

  • Hi there,

    I’m trying to getting into the shooting game! I don’t really have contacts to any gun club! If I put a deposit on a gun and get permission off a lander owner would this be enough to apply for the licence?? Is one land owners permission sufficient enough??


    • It’s sufficient to apply for the licence; your local Superintendent may ask that you take a course or get some other form of training if you’re only starting (and honestly, that would be a wise thing to do). One land owner is sufficient if the amount of land is both large enough and its location suitable; but I would suggest talking to your local Garda station before applying, they’ll be able to put you in contact with the local clubs who could help you more.

  • Hi I’m looking at getting my mothers gun (as a gift) – its a shotgun. I’ve joined the local gun club. I haven’t held a licence before. The safety officer and other club members have been giving me some training and have said they’ll give me some more training when I get my licence – they reckon that there won’t be any need to do a course at my age (lets just say i’m middle aged !) as I’ll be trained in the club. Does that sound reasonable? I was wondering what number would be appropriate for the max ammo question? Also on storage – the shotgun is the only gun I will have – am I correct in saying I won’t need a gun safe provided the gun is disassembled and stored separately and securely? Thanks.

    • The training plan is well within the requirements of the Act – it’s not legally mandatory to do a course to demonstrate competency, there are several means by which that competency can be proven for a licence application, and joining a club in order to receive training is one of those. The maximum ammunition amount you’d use for clay pigeon shooting is dependant on how heavily you’re training, but during the first year, the normal 100 shells would be sufficient so long as you can buy shells at your local club or registered firearms dealer reasonably easily (you might wind up buying every few weeks depending on how much you train or compete though). And yes, as the sole firearm, you aren’t currently required by law to have a gunsafe, but (a) it’s a very very good idea to have one and they’re not that expensive; and (b) the local Super can require you to get one if he wishes by making it a condition of the licence and if he does so, that is within his legal powers and practically speaking you have to comply with it.

  • A friend who is a farmer and owns a large area of land, has indicated to me that he would give me permission to shoot rats on his land that are eating animal feed etc and causing a nuisance. I would be looking to purchase and apply for a licence for a .177 pcp rifle. Would this scenario fall within the parameters for the successful granting of a firearms licence?

    • That would be down to the decision of your local Superintendent, who might want to know why the farmer didn’t shoot the rats himself; but so far as I know he could justify granting a licence for that purpose (you’d have to meet the other conditions of course).

    • Not yet Emmett, the legal limit is three months but it’s worth calling the local superintendent to check on the progress of the application and make sure it’s not been lost in the shuffle.

  • I’m going to apply for a licence for a .22 hornet , but I’ve been told by the local ammunition dealer that I need to do a course first before I apply . I was wondering do you have any information on this ?

    • It’s not completely correct.
      You are required by law to prove competency with a firearm as a prerequisite to getting a licence, but that proof can be provided in many ways. A course is definitely one option and if you’ve never shot before it’s not a bad one; but you must ask your local Garda Superintendent first as to which course he will accept because there is no national standard and you have no recourse if you paid for an expensive course that he decided not to accept afterwards.
      Other, equally valid and much more traditional methods for providing that proof include joining a club that provides training to new members; having a training licence; having had licences previously; and so on.

  • hi I am part of the reserve defence forces and was thinking of getting a rifle licence to practice for competitions etc. would I need a rifle before I apply for the licence or do I just need to state what type and serial number of the rifle im planning on buying. Also do I need to be part of a club?

    • You state the type and serial number of the rifle in the licence application form; you can’t legally buy the rifle until the licence is granted (usually you put down a deposit with the gun dealer and he gives you the serial number, you go get the licence and then pay him the balance and collect the rifle when it’s granted — be sure to check that you get your deposit back if refused though, this isn’t a process well-governed by consumer law).

      And yes, if you’re using this for target shooting you do need to be a part of a club. If it’s the falling plates competition you’re thinking of, be sure to join a club that has a long enough range to practice on…

  • Hi I was wondering would I have a problem getting a license for a shotgun I have permission from a racehorse trainer Who is my uncle to shoot peigons as they make horses sick and rabbits which cause problems and a friend of mine who has plenty of land for shooting foxes?

  • Hi I was wondering on the chances of getting a license for a 17hmr I’m 17 and live in Dublin but I’ve permission in Wicklow to shoot vermin and Donegal just wanted to know if it be harder to get a license because of where I live thanks

    • Probably would be if you’re having to travel to Donegal and you’ve not owned a firearm before. Best to talk to your local Superintendent about it; it might help if you were a member of a gunclub in that area who could vouch for you or if you could cite someone you’d be shooting with and learning from if this is something you’re new to (in which case you might consider a training licence instead, which could be less troublesome).

  • I want to try clay shooting and possibly a bit of hunting if the chance arose, I’ve been in contact with the local clay shooting club. If I apply for a licence stting them on the application as a reason for the gun am I then restricted to using it only for clay shooting

    • Yes and no; you’re not restricted from using the firearm for hunting vermin in this case (because clay shooting isn’t treated the same way as target shooting with rifles or pistols), but hunting anything that requires a hunting licence would be poaching. To be safe, I would cite both possible uses on the application form, but that will require you to nominate an area where you’d be hunting and have permission to be hunting there.

      You could always add the hunting part on later with an amendment to your licence via an FCA2 form…

  • Hi Mark,

    I payed for my licence via the post office last Thursday, however I will have to arrange a friend to post this to me as I am not at my home address for a few weeks. Does it really only take a few days to come? Would it ever take more than a week? I just don’t want him going to the house for it when it’s not there.



    • The time from paying for the licence to receiving it in the post is usually extremely fast, I’ve had it happen inside 48 hours. But that can vary depending on your local post I suppose. I’d give it a few days if you wanted to be sure.

  • Hi, my dad’s licence expired a couple of years ago, he passed away and we have only found the gun. If we sell it on to a club do we need to apply for a licence?

    • No, you don’t need to have a licence for the firearm to sell it on. But you do need to get it to a registered firearms dealer as quickly as possible because it’s illegal to possess one without authorisation or a licence – and I’d call the local Garda station before that, and tell them that you’ve found it, you’ll be selling it, and that you want to take it to the local RFD. Once they’re okay with that (which isn’t quite a section 2(5) authorisation but would count as due diligence in the event that someone stopped you on the drive over to the RFD’s shop) – and for pity’s sake please check that it’s not loaded before moving it and if you don’t know how, ask the RFD for help moving it – take it to the RFD and he’ll hold it in escrow until you can sell it.

  • Hi, a quick question if I may.
    If I decide to change the licence cathogary of my shotgun from “unrestricted” to”restricted”, ( for the purpose of competition shooting) do I still include vermin control, clays etc. on the application? And if granted “Restricted” can I still use it for these other uses ( clays, around thd farm etc,) as long as I replace the cartridge limiting plug? Nigel.

    • So restricted/unrestricted is not a licence category really. They’re seperate things so you’re talking about an entirely new licence, and you have to apply to a completely different person (your local Chief Superintendent). So you’ll have to go through the licencing process again.

      But the good news is that if successful, then yes, you can continue to use it for those purposes so long as you put them down on the FCA1 form. You don’t even have to replace the limiting plug for informal clay pigeon shooting or for vermin control (I think you have to for wildfowling because that’s a Wildlife Act thing rather than a Firearms Act thing).

  • Hi I am changing a .243 for another .243 the same rifle in every way just a different make, so a substitution Im waiting 4 weeks do I pay another 80 euro or do I just get my cert in the post. Thanks

    • Like-for-like substitutions like that just alter your existing licence Arthur, you don’t pay anything extra for them. 4 weeks is longer than usual, but not enough to be panicing yet.

  • I’m going for my first gun licence what kind of safety course do I need and is it required

    • It’s explicitly not required to do a safety course; the requirement in section four of the act is proof of competence.

      You can do a course to meet that requirement but there are other ways to do so; for example, if you have joined a target shooting club that will be training you; or if you’ve been shooting at a club for some time with club firearms; or if an individual is going to be training you; and so on. Those were the traditional ways to be trained for a few centuries; the safety courses were a completely new addition added in 2006 and were only ever meant as an additional means for edge cases – the (very) few people who were falling through the cracks.

      If you’re in the position where you have to do a course, talk to your local garda first. There is no standard in Ireland for running these courses and no regulation of them; you could happily spend a hundred quid or so, “pass” the course and have the Garda tell you he won’t accept that course and you’d have no recourse, no refund, and no grounds to challenge his ruling on in court (if you wanted to go down that route). See for a bit of a rant on this.

  • That application form looks to be for a single gun, what if one needs to license several guns, do they not all be on one license as in NI?

    • No Robert, the licence is per-firearm in Ireland and per-person in NI and the rest of the UK.
      Why exactly it’s like that is lost to history, though I’ve always suspected that “because the UK does it that way and we have to be different” might be closer to the truth than is comfortable.

  • Hi, I am interested specifically in the 10m air rifle discipline. After looking online I have not been able to find a definitive list of clubs that cater for 10m air rifle in the Dublin/Meath area. I have found many ranges but not for 10m air rifle. I do not currently own a firearm but would like to join a club and use their facilities/training before I commit to purchasing my own rifle. Can you suggest a club that can provide this.

  • HI, I’m a 35 year old man now who had some troubles in my youth, more than 10 years ago.. I have never been to prison but have some minor convictions for things such as a abh, or trespassing, Obviously my character is of a very different nature today. I am a family man and a masters degree and fully employed, I have acquired land permission and some character references from local politicians for a gun application but am very disheartened that some foolish behavior in my past will ruin my chances of obtaining a licence. I have many friends who hunt and would like to be a part of that. Do you think this would have much of an impact on the decision on whether I would be granted a licence or not.

    • I honestly couldn’t say; it would be entirely dependant on your local Superintendent and there isn’t any way to gauge this sort of thing before talking to them.

  • Im 15 at the minute and not far of 16 could i apply for my license now and not reiceive 8t until im 16 thanks

  • Im 15 now nearly 16 can i apply for my license now then reiceive it when im 16.its for a shotgun and im a hunting club member thanks.

    • You can apply for a training licence from age 14 onwards and for a full licence from 16 onwards; it’s unlikely to be entertained if you apply for a licence before those ages though (because legally, it can’t be). Note that for the training licence you would need another licenced person to be named as your trainer and they get evaluated as part of the application.

  • Hi,

    Regarding the medical check on the certificate application form; I am in the process of filling out the form as I would like to purchase a shotgun for clay pigeon shooting. I am a little concerned with the medial history check, though. I have been on antidepressants for a couple of years (nothing major, no instability – just wasn’t feeling on top of my game), but I’m concerned that my application will be rejected if I check ‘yes’ to the part concerned with having had an issue that may affect my ability to safely possess a firearm. I notice the obvious possibility of subjective interpretation in the way this section of the form is phrased. I certainly know that I have never suffered from anything that would affect my ability to safely possess a firearm, but if I check ‘no’, is this ‘wrong’ (legally as opposed to morally). I’m just concerned that the State may have a blanket policy when it comes to mental health and gun ownership and am temped to check ‘no’ to circumvent any potential unnecessary obstacles. Your wisdom and guidance would be appreciated!

    • I wish I had an answer; this is an area where our law is primarily based on kneejerks and a lack of medical evidence. In your position, I’d probably seek a letter from my GP stating that the antidepressants do not factor into your ability to safely possess a firearm, because your medical judgement probably won’t be accepted by your superintendent (and they do not have the medical judgement either). They may well seek to discuss this more fully with your GP, which is something the law allows for. Lack of medical confidentiality is just a fact of life when you have a firearms licence I’m afraid.

  • Just for right understanding:

    Do I need for each ammunition purchase a specific licence? Does the gun licence not include a general permission to buy ammunition for the gun licensed?

    And furthermore, do I also need a licence in order to buy airgun pellets or cadriges for a blank gun legally?

    I´m only interessted in international gun laws. I live in germany, a country that has a well restricted gun legislation and we, my target-shooter-friends and I, often complain about that. But compared with the irish republic, germany feels like the U.S. concerned gun laws. This is not revilely meant.

    kind regards

    • You do require a certificate for purchasing ammunition and the certificate specifies a limit to how much you may possess at any one time, but no, you don’t need individual certificates for each round of ammunition. This would includes both airgun pellets (even though these are just inert lead like fishing weights) and cartridges for blank guns (usually those are handled slightly differently with a section 2(5) permission or similar though). It can be somewhat awkward for cases where high levels of ammunition consumption are normal (like competitive target shooting, especially in airgun), but we muddle through.

  • Hey Mark,

    I have been a member of a gun club,m for a while Now and am just about to apply for a browning 526 for clay which I shoot every week in competition(currently using club gun)

    I’ve shot gallery a lot recently and love it and want to apply for a .22 Ruger with the shotgun license at the same time? I’ve done my safe handling course also and have necessary paperwork to submit.

    Is it possible to submit both applications for the Browning 525 shotgun and Ruger .22 rifle at the same time?

    Both used for competition and stored in the gun clubs member safe.



    • Absolutely no rule against it; I’ve applied for two at once myself for my two rifles when I first got them (and technically every “renewal” is really just a new application, so every three years I do three at once).

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