Over 51,000 licences issued for shotguns and rifles

Blaser Combination Over & Under Shotgun/Rifle

According to a report published on the Agriland website on 19th August 2022, An Garda Síochána issued 51,508 firearms licences for shotguns, rifles and combination shotgun-rifles in 2021*.

This is a 15% increase in the number of licences issued for these types of firearms compared to 2020, when 43,638 certificates were granted.

Data released to Agriland by An Garda Síochána shows that just under 32,000 shotguns were licensed last year, along with 19,500 rifles and 16 rifle/shotgun combination firearms.

Licences were also issued for crossbows, air guns, pistols and human killers.

Type of firearm    2021 licences
Air gun                  1,457
Crossbow             5
Humane killer     4
Pistol                    1,029
Revolver              129
Rifle                     19,536
combined           16
Shotgun              31,956
Spare Barrel     16
Speargun           3
Other                 59

Source: An Garda Síochána

In 2021, a total of 54,201 firearms licences were issued by Gardaí across the country.

At 4,879, Co. Cork had the highest number of licences issued, followed by Dublin with 4,032 and Tipperary at 3,674.

Longford had the lowest number of licences issued with 623.

The following table provides a county-by-county breakdown of the number of licences issued by An Garda Síochána in 2021:

County                   Number of firearms licences issued
Carlow                   1,656
Cavan                    1,478
Clare                      1,778
Cork                       4,879
Donegal                2,318
Dublin                  4,032
Galway                 3,303
Kerry                     1,997
Kildare                  2,213
Kilkenny               1,860
Laois                     1,379
Leitrim                  804
Limerick               1,800
Longford              623
Louth                    1,173
Mayo                    2,498
Meath                  2,406
Monaghan          1,217
Offaly                  1,728
Roscommon      1,425
Sligo                    757
Tipperary           3,674
Waterford          1,709
Westmeath        1,513
Wexford             3,535
Wicklow             2,455

TOTAL 54,201

Source: An Garda Síochána

Gardaí are responsible for licensing and authorising legally held firearms and ammunition.

Anyone wishing to possess, use or carry a firearm or ammunition must apply for a licence to the superintendent of the Garda district in which they reside.

A firearm certificate, if granted, costs €80 and is valid for three years. The holder may then renew the licence up to three months before it is due to expire.

It is mandatory that each applicant includes their doctor’s details on the renewal form.

Under legislation, Gardaí must provide a decision within three months of an application or renewal being submitted.

An Garda Síochána said that every effort is made to ensure that all applications are processed “as soon as is practicable”.

*Firearms Certificates are valid and renewable in three-year cycles.