Appearing at a committee near you…

So after the submission I sent in to the Joint Committee about the proposed changes to the Firearms Acts, I got invited to appear before them to discuss the submission in person. And the agenda just came out today on the Oireachtas website:

What’s on this week

The Joint Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality will meet on Wednesday 21 January 2015 in CR2 LH2000 at 10 a.m. to consider the following:

Hearings on submissions received in relation to the review of firearms licensing
Session A: 10 a.m.
[Mr. Nicholas Flood; Mr. KJE Balinski-Jvndzill; Representatives from the Wild Deer Association of Ireland; Harbour House Sports Club; National Target Shooting Association and National Association of Regional Game Councils (NARGC) will be in attendance];
Session B: 2.30 p.m.
[Mr. Phillip Slattery; Mr. Mark Dennehy; Mr. Jeff McCann; Dr. Albert Jordan followed by representatives from the Irish Firearms Dealers Association; National Rifle Association of Ireland; and National Association of Sporting, Rifle and Pistol Club will be in attendance]

(Funny side note, Dr. Albert Jordan is the guy who first taught me how to shoot twenty-odd years ago. Small world).

Would have mentioned all this earlier, but I had to prepare an opening statement with a short deadline (of about forty hours, including the time lost by not seeing the invite, the will-I-won’t-I decision making time and trying to talk to a few of the other groups about what they were covering to avoid duplicating effort, and , you know, sleeping, eating, working and toddler-related stuff). So, sortof a rush. And apparently the powerpoint system in there doesn’t work so well, so my original plan to just show this image wasn’t a runner…

Why Can't We All Just Get Along?

Oh well. It would have been memorable. (And given them a break from the 200+ submissions they’ve received).

So here’s my actual opening statement (and here’s the pdf in case the formatting is mangled by the whole document->blog post conversion again):

Continue reading “Appearing at a committee near you…”

Submission to the Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality on the review of firearms licensing

What target shooting actually looks like.

For those who don’t know, a review of the firearms act has been proposed by the Gardai. It has been, to say the least, controversial.

After the frankly appalling meeting of the Joint Committee on Justice to hear these Garda proposals, submissions to the committee were sought from interested parties. Here’s mine for anyone interested (the formatting below is a little mangled by the conversion from the document to a webpage). Others have been posted on the thread here.

Continue reading “Submission to the Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality on the review of firearms licensing”

Petition to call for a review of the Firearms Act and to extend the remit of the FCP

Click here to sign the petition

We wish to call for a review of the Firearms Act and to have the remit of the Firearms Consultation Panel extended

Firearms law in Ireland is currently spread across 19 Acts, 2 EU directives and well over 60 Statutory Instruments, before case law and the Garda Commissioner’s guidelines are taken into account. It is estimated that fewer than two dozen people in the state have a working understanding of Irish firearms law as a result of this.

Since 2006 – since which time three acts, approximately twenty statutory instruments and an EU directive have been added – the Law Reform Commission has been calling for a restatement of the Firearms Act to simplify this situation. High Court Justice Peter Charleton has stated, in McCarron-v-Kearney, “the piecemeal spreading over multiple pieces of legislation of the statutory rules for the control of firearms is undesirable. Codification in that area is almost as pressing a need as it is in the area of sexual violence.”

Since 2006, an expert panel has existed, consisting of representatives of the target shooting and hunting community, their insurers, the firearm dealers trade, the Gardai, the Department of Sport, and chaired by the Department of Justice. This panel, the Firearms Consultation Panel, has advised on technical aspects of firearms practice and how that practice and firearms legislation can best coexist. However that Panel’s remit was only to oversee the implementation of the 2006 and 2009 acts and as such is now coming to a close.

We, the undersigned, wish to call upon the Minister for Justice to review the Firearms Act and the Law Reform Commission’s call for a restatement of that Act, and to extend the remit of the Firearms Consultation Panel to become a permanent advisory panel to the Firearms Unit of the Department of Justice. We believe that the current state of affairs with regard to firearms legislation in Ireland is unacceptably complex and that dismissing the Firearms Consultation Panel at this time would be a significant mistake in light of that complexity and the urgent need to address it.

Click here to sign the petition