Ireland’s leading shooting and countryside organisations have come together to address widespread concern on direction of the “Firearms Expert Committee” (FEC) and its continued lack of consultation with firearms users and their representatives (see our previous posting on this topic “FIREARMS USERS REPRESENTATIVE GROUP OPPOSE STRUCTURE AND MAKE-UP OF NEW FIREARMS EXPERT COMMITTEE” HERE.There is also growing concern regarding increasing bureaucracy and unnecessary delays within the firearms licencing process, inconsistency in application of firearms law, and the perceived exercise of personal views by Garda Superintendents involved in firearms licencing.

The FEC was formed by the Department of Justice in June 2022 to carry out a comprehensive and potentially far-reaching review of firearms licencing in Ireland. For example, the committee has been tasked with making recommendations on which types of firearms should be licensable in the future, whether firearms certificates should be conditioned to limit the locations where firearms can be used or the purpose for which they may be used. FEC has also been tasked with making recommendations on whether there should be a limit on the number and type of firearms a person may hold.

Working together as an umbrella organisation, the Firearms Users Representative Group (FURG) will engage in high level campaigning to achieve comprehensive and genuine engagement with firearms users during the review with the ultimate aim of achieving a fairer, more efficient and consistent firearms licencing process.

A spokesperson for the FURG said: “Members of our respective organisations are genuinely concerned about the issues being discussed by the Firearms Expert Committee, without any  input from any shooting representatives which could have significant implications for shooting sports. We will insist that our members concerns are heard during this review and will strongly oppose any attempt to unfairly restrict shooting sports.”

Firearms Users Representative Group member organisations include: National Association of Regional Game Councils, Country Sports Ireland. FACE Ireland, Irish Deer Society, Irish Deer Commission, Wild Deer Association of Ireland, Deer Alliance HCAP, Countryside Alliance (Ireland), Irish Firearms Dealers’ Association, Irish Clay Target Shooting Association, National Association of Sporting Rifle & Pistol Clubs, Irish Country Sports Association, Precision Rifles Ireland.