Fingal, IE -(AmmoLand.com)- Countryside Alliance Ireland is delighted that the Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald TD, has recently announced a series of changes to the firearms licensing system in Ireland.
This welcome news has been much sought after and has involved a concerted effort from all parties. Countryside Alliance Ireland would especially like to take this opportunity to thank our members and the wider public who responded to the Department’s consultation and submitted their views. Every correspondence counts and we commend all those who made the effort.
The changes come after an extensive period of consultation and commitment from key stakeholders and the Minister took time to thank the bodies representing rural and sporting interests for their proactive engagement during her consultations.
Lyall Plant, Chief Executive of Countryside Alliance Ireland, commented, “Measures have been made so that Ireland’s responsible firearm holders are not unduly penalised and we need to continue to work to ensure that this is the case.”
“Public safety is paramount, but it doesn’t need to be at the cost of the shooting and hunting communities, and CAI was pleased to see that Minister Fitzgerald acknowledged the dedication and responsibility of the owners of legally held firearms. I would also like to personally acknowledge the hard work undertaken by our members in helping to secure this result.”
The changes implemented should ensure a more consistent approach to firearms licensing. The Minister intends to make fundamental long term reforms of firearms licensing by establishing a new Firearms Assessment and Appeals Authority.
The primary function of the Authority will be to determine whether particular forms of firearms may be licensed in the State, whether there should be any limit on the number of such firearms and what safety conditions might properly be applied to their licensing. The functions of the Authority will be subject to further consultation.
Individual licensing decisions will continue to be made by members of An Garda Síochána in the light of the determinations made by the Authority, but it is intended that the Authority will adjudicate on appeals from decisions by An Garda Síochána. This will offer an alternative to the current system of court appeals.
The Minister has also signed a new Statutory Instrument re-defining what constitutes a non-restricted handgun. The purpose of this legislation is to ensure that, while the Minister cannot interfere with individual licensing decisions, persons who currently hold licenses for handguns will be able to reapply for a license in the current licensing round. This legislation will clarify for An Garda Síochána what firearms may be considered by them for licensing.
For more information regarding the measures taken and what they mean for firearms licensing, please visit the Countryside Alliance Ireland website at www.caireland.org.
NI FAC Renewals
In order to assist the PSNI’s Firearms and Explosives Branch (FEB), CAI is urging members to submit their firearm certificate renewal applications at least six weeks prior to the date of expiry shown on their current firearm certificate.
Six weeks is the recommended minimum period as stated on the PSNI’s covering letter that is included in the renewal pack. By submitting your renewal application at least six weeks in advance, you will be helping to reduce PSNI FEB’s administrative burden and contributing towards a more efficient licensing system.
Lyall Plant, CAI Chief Executive, commented, “In order to prevent applications being lost, we also suggest members send their applications to PSNI FEB via recorded delivery. This will also allow you to keep a record of when your application was received by PSNI FEB.”
About Countryside Alliance Ireland:
Countryside Alliance Ireland (CAI) is an expert and informed rural campaigning organisation, representing over 10,000 people throughout Ireland. We, and our members work, live and participate in recreation in Ireland’s countryside.
For more information, please visit www.CountrysideAllianceIreland.org.
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