Changes to Firearm Regulations in R of I

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Recent changes to R of I firearm regulations will affect those visiting/transiting the Republic of Ireland as well as R of I firearms holders.

The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan, T.D., has signed into law the following regulations. These Regulations transpose into Irish legislation amendments to the EU Firearms Directive 91/477/EEC, as amended by Directive (EU) 2017/853.

The new Regulations come into effect from 1 September 2019.

The main changes are:

New Storage requirements 

Statutory Instrument No: 307 of 2009: Firearms (Secure Accommodation) Order 2009 defines the minimum security required for the storage of firearms by holders of firearm certificates. In addition to these requirements, the new regulations require the following:

Storage of ammunition

1. When the firearm is not in use, all ammunition for the firearm must be stored in a locked receptacle that is separate from where the firearm is stored.

Transporting firearms or ammunition

1. When transporting a firearm or ammunition, the firearm must be concealed from view and stored separately from the ammunition.

2. The ammunition must be stored in a locked receptacle.

It is acceptable to transport firearms and ammunition within the boot of a vehicle so long as the ammunition is in a locked receptacle.

Banning of Certain Firearms

The following firearms are prohibited*:

A. Automatic firearms which have been converted into semi-automatic firearms,

B. Centre fire semi-automatic handguns which allow the firing of more than 21 rounds without reloading, if:

1. a magazine with a capacity exceeding 20 rounds is part of that firearm; or
2. a detachable magazine with a capacity exceeding 20 rounds is inserted into it;
C. Centre fire semi-automatic rifles and shotguns which allow the firing of more than 11 rounds without reloading, if:

1. a magazine with a capacity exceeding 10 rounds is part of that firearm; or 
2. a detachable magazine with a capacity exceeding 10 rounds is inserted into it.

D. Semi-automatic rifles and shotguns that can be reduced to a length of less than 60 cm by means of a folding or telescoping stock or by a stock that can be removed without using tools.

*The Regulations provide for a period of six months until 29 February 2020 to allow for compliance by Registered Firearms Dealers and holders of firearms certificates with the new prohibition.

In points B and C above, in most cases this would involve disposing of a magazine whose excess capacity makes the firearm subject to prohibition.