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Written Answers. - Firearms Policy.

Thursday, 17 October 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 555 No. 4

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 143. Mr. Rabbitte Information on Pat Rabbitte Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform Information on Michael McDowell Zoom on Michael McDowell  the position in regard to firearms held by the Garda since 1972; the representations he has received from the National Rifle and Pistol Association of Ireland on this matter; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18630/02]

Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. McDowell): Information on Michael McDowell Zoom on Michael McDowell An order entitled the Firearms (Temporary Custody ) Order, 1972 was made by the Minister for Justice on 2 August 1972. The order required all persons residing in the State to surrender to the Garda Síochána all pistols, revolvers and rifles of a calibre in excess of .22 calibre and ammunition for same.

It was considered necessary in the public interest that the surrendered weapons should continue to remain in Garda custody having regard to the prevailing circumstances.

The practice that only shotguns, crossbows, unrifled airguns and rifles up to .22 calibre could be licensed, was continued up to 1993. Following a review in that year, the practice was revised so as to allow the licensing of bolt-action rifles up to .270 calibre for deer hunting, culling and competitive target shooting. This remains the position.

I would also advise the Deputy that in the context of an ongoing review of firearms policy, I have received representations from the National Rifle and Pistol Association of Ireland and that the association has also met with my officials in this regard. The views expressed by the association on the firearms in question and on other matters will be considered in the course of the review.


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