S.I. No. 362/1993 - European Communities (Acquisition and Possession of Weapons and Ammunition) Regulations, 1993.


S.I. No. 362 of 1993.

EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES (ACQUISITION AND POSSESSION OF WEAPONS AND AMMUNITION) REGULATIONS, 1993.

I, MÁIRE GEOGHEGAN-QUINN, Minister for Justice, in exercise of the powers conferred on me by section 3 of the European Communities Act, 1972 (No. 27 of 1972), and for the purpose of giving effect to Council Directive 9¼77/EEC of 18 June, 1991(1) and Articles 10 and 11 of Chapter III of Council Directive 93/15/EEC(2) of 5 April, 1993, hereby make the following Regulations:

1 Citation.

1. These Regulations may be cited as the European Communities (Acquisition and Possession of Weapons and Ammunition) Regulations, 1993.

2 Interpretation.

2. (1) In these Regulations—

"the Act" means the Firearms Act, 1925 (No. 17 of 1925);

"the Minister" means the Minister for Justice;

"the Directive" means Council Directive 9¼77/EEC of 18 June, 1991 on control of the acquisition and possession of weapons and includes Articles 10 and 11 of Chapter III of Council Directive 93/15/EEC of 5 April, 1993 on the harmonisation of the provisions relating to the placing on the market and supervision of explosives for civil uses;

"European Firearms Pass" means a document so described in Regulation 9;

"firearms dealer" shall be construed in accordance with Regulations 3(1) of these Regulations;

"the Firearms Acts" means the Firearms Acts, 1925 to 1990, and any Act to be construed as one with those Acts.

(2) The forms to be used for the purposes of these Regulations shall be such as may be authorised or prescribed by the Minister, except where otherwise indicated.

(1)O.J. No. L256/51 — 13.9.91.

(2)O.J. No. L12½0 — 15.5.93.

(3) These Regulations shall be construed as one with the Firearms Acts.

3 Maintenance of register kept by firearms dealers.

3. (1) In the Act and in these Regulations "person" in relation to a firearms dealer includes a body corporate and a reference to the character of the applicant in section 9 (3) of the Act shall be construed in relation to a body corporate as a reference to the reputation of the applicant.

(2) A firearms dealer shall retain particulars of every transaction in the register kept by him under section 12 of the Act for a period of five years after the date of the transaction, even if he has ceased his activity as a firearms dealer.

4 Age limit for firearm certificate or permit.

4. A person under the age of 18 years shall not be entitled to hold a firearm certificate or permit other than for hunting or target shooting.

5 Permission to a resident of another Member State to acquire or purchase a Category B firearm in the State.

5. An application by a resident of a Member State other than the State to acquire or be in possession of a firearm classified in Category B of the Directive, or ammunition for any such firearm shall not be considered unless he has first produced to the Minister the prior consent of the competent authority of that Member State for the acquisition or possession of the firearm.

6 Transfer of firearms and ammunition

6. (1) A person from another Member State shall not transfer or attempt to transfer a firearm or ammunition to the State except with the prior consent of the Minister and without having obtained a licence for the transfer from the competent authority of that Member State.

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of the Control of Exports Order, 1983 ( S.I. No. 405 of 1983 ), a person in the State shall not transfer or attempt to transfer a firearm or ammunition from the State to another Member State, except in accordance with a licence issued by the Minister.

(3) The Minister may grant a registered dealer in the State a continuing licence to transfer firearms or ammunition to a registered dealer in another Member State for a specified period not exceeding three years.

(4) The licence or, in the case of a continuing licence, a document confirming the existence of that continuing licence, must accompany the firearm or ammunition until it reaches its destination and it shall be produced whenever so required by the competent authorities of the Member States.

(5) Where the firearm to be transferred is not a firearm which may, by virtue of the information supplied by Member States as provided for in Article 11.4 of the Directive be transferred to another Member State without the prior consent of that Member State, then, prior consent, from the competent authority of the Member State to which the firearm is to be transferred, for the transfer must be produced to the Minister before a licence or authorisation may be granted.

(6) A copy of the communication under Article 11.4 of the Directive certified by an official of the Minister to be a true copy shall be received without further proof in evidence as proof of the facts contained therein.

7 European Firearms Pass.

7. (1) Notwithstanding the provisions of the Control of Exports Order, 1983 ( S.I. No. 405 of 1983 ), where a person holds a European Firearms Pass issued by the Superintendent of the Garda Síochána for the district in which he resides, that person may travel to any other Member State with any firearm in respect of which the pass has been issued and ammunition for such firearm.

(2) However, where the firearms are not firearms which may, by virtue of the information supplied by Member States as provided for in Article 11.4 of the Directive, be transferred to another Member State without the prior consent of that Member State, an express statement to the effect that the firearm may not be transferred to that Member State without the prior consent of that State must be entered on the pass and the person concerned must obtain the prior consent for the journey from the Member State in question and this prior consent must be entered on the European Firearms Pass.

(3) Where such prior concent is not required by a Member State, a hunter, in respect of a firearm in Category C or D of the Directive and a marksman, in respect of a firearm in Category B, C or D may travel to that Member State with a firearm in such Category and ammunition for such firearm provided he is in possession of a European Firearms Pass.

(4) Where a person from another Member State wishes to travel to the State bringing with him a firearm with or without ammunition, he may do so if he has received the prior consent from the Minister in accordance with Article 12 (1) of the Directive and if such prior consent, which may be for one or more journeys for a maximum period of one year, is entered on a current European Firearms Pass which has been issued to him in respect of the firearm concerned by the competent authority of the Member State of which he is a resident.

(5) The European Firearms Pass must always be in the possession of the person while he is in possession of a firearm authorised by the pass and it shall be produced whenever so required by any member of the Garda Síochána or any officer of the Customs and Excise.

(6) A copy of the communication under Article 8.3 of the Directive certified by an official of the Minister to be a true copy shall, without further proof be received in evidence as proof of facts contained therein.

8 Provisions of Firearms Acts and other Statutes.

8. The provisions of the Firearms Acts and other relevant statutes, including provisions relating to powers of the Garda Síochána and Customs Officers, shall extend to a European Firearms Pass or other document to which these Regulations relate and a reference in those enactments to a firearm certificate shall, where the context so admits, include reference to any such document.

9 Form of European Firearms Pass.

9. (1) The European Firearms Pass shall be set out in the form in the Schedule to these Regulations.

(2) ( a ) Where a person is granted, or is the holder of, a firearm certificate under the Firearms Acts, he shall be entitled to be issued by the Superintendent of the Garda Síochána for the district in which he resides with—

(i) a European Firearms Pass containing the required particulars; and

(ii) a document stating that the holder of the firearm certificate has the consent of the competent authority of the State, for so long as the certificate remains in force, to any purchase or acquisition by him in another Member State of any firearm or ammunition to which the certificate relates; and an application for the issue of a document falling within clause (i) or (ii) may be made at the same time as an application for a firearm certificate or at any time subsequently while the certificate remains in force.

( b ) Where—

(i) a person who resides in the State is proposing to purchase or acquire any firearm or ammunition in another Member State;

(ii) that person is not for the time being the holder of a firearm certificate relating to that firearm or ammunition, and

(iii) that person satisfies the Superintendent of the Garda Síochána for the district in which he resides that he is not proposing to bring that firearm or ammunition into the State,

the Superintendent of the Garda Síochána may issue that person with a document stating that the competent authority of the State consents to the purchase or acquisition by that person in another Member State of that firearm or ammunition.

( c ) The period specified in the European Firearms Pass as the period for which it is to be valid shall be whichever is the shorter of the following;

(i) the period ending on the expiry of a certificate relating to a firearm identified in the pass

(ii) the maximum period for the duration of that pass.

( d ) For the purposes of subparagraph (c) above the maximum period for the duration of a European Firearms Pass is—

(i) in the case of a pass identifying only a shotgun, ten years; and

(ii) in any other case, five years.

10 Renewal of European Firearms Pass.

10. (1) In relation to a firearm identified in a European Firearms Pass, the holder of a firearm certificate may apply to the Superintendent of the Garda Síochána for the district in which he resides for the renewal of the pass.

(2) Where—

( a ) a certificate relating to a firearm identified in a European Firearms Pass is due to expire; but

( b ) a certificate relating to another firearm identified in that pass will continue in force after the other certificate expires,

the holder of the pass may apply to the Superintendent of the Garda Síochána for the district in which he resides for the renewal of the pass subject to the deletion of the reference to the firearm to which the expiring certificate relates.

(3) Where, on an application to a Superintendent of the Garda Síochána under paragraph (1) or (2)—

( a ) the pass in question is produced to him; and

( b ) a certificate relating to a firearm identified in the pass is renewed or will continue in force after the time when the pass would (apart from its renewal) have ceased to be valid,

he shall renew that pass, subject to any appropriate deletion, for whichever is the shorter of the periods specified in paragraph 2 (c) of Regulation 9.

(4) Where a European Firearms Pass ceases to be valid under this Regulation, the Superintendent of the Garda Síochána for the district in which the person to whom it was issued resides may, by notice in writing, require that person, within twenty-one days of the date of the notice, to surrender the pass to him.

(5) It is an offence for any person to fail to comply with a notice given to him under paragraph (4).

11 Variation endorsement etc. of European documents.

11. (1) Where—

( a ) a certificate relating to a firearm identified in a European Firearms Pass or a document referred to in Regulation 9 (2) (a) (ii) (an "Article 7 Authority") has been issued is varied, revoked or cancelled; or

( b ) the Minister gives notice that any information contained in paragraph 6 (1) or 6 (2) of the European Firearms Pass needs to be modified by addition, deletion or variation; or

( c ) the holder of a European Firearms Pass applies to have particulars of another firearm added to the pass,

it shall be the duty of the Superintendent of the Garda Síochána for the district in which the holder of the pass or authority resides to make such variations of the pass or authority as are appropriate in consequence of the variation, revocation, cancellation, notice or application or, where appropriate, to cancel it.

(2) For the purpose of performing his duty under paragraph (1) the Superintendent of the Garda Síochána for the district in which any person who is or has been the holder of any certificate resides may, by notice in writing, require that person, within twenty-one days of the date of the notice, to produce or surrender to him any European Firearms Pass or Article 7 Authority issued to that person.

(3) Where a person is for the time being the holder of an Article 7 Authority issued by the Superintendent of the Garda Síochána for any district, the Superintendent of the Garda Síochána for that district may, if he thinks fit, at any time—

( a ) revoke that authority; and

( b ) by notice in writing require that person, within twenty-one days of the date of the notice, to surrender that authority to him.

(4) Where a firearm identified in a European Firearms Pass which is for the time being valid, is lost or stolen, the holder of the pass shall immediately—

( a ) inform the Superintendent of the Garda Síochána for the district in which he resides of the loss or theft and

( b ) produce the pass to that Superintendent for him to endorse particulars of that loss or theft on the pass.

(5) Where a firearm to which an endorsement under paragraph (4) relates is returned to the possession of the holder of the pass in question, the Superintendent of the Garda Síochána for the district in which that person resides may, on the production to him of that pass, make such endorsement on that pass as may be appropriate.

(6) It is an offence for any person to fail to comply with a notice given to him under paragraph (2) or (3) or with any obligation imposed on him by virtue of paragraph (4) (a) or (b).

12 Public Security.

12. (1) Section 4 of the Firearms Act, 1964 , is hereby amended by the insertion in subsection (i) of "or public security" after "safety".

(2) An order under that section shall be notified to the Commission of the European Communities.

13 Offences.

13. (1) A person who contravenes any provision of these Regulations shall, without prejudice to any liability under the Firearms Acts, be guilty of an offence under these Regulations.

(2) A person who is guilty of an offence under these Regulations shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding one thousand pounds.

SCHEDULE

EUROPEAN FIREARMS PASS(1)

1 DETAILS OF THE HOLDER:

1.1 Surname and first name(s):

1.2 Date and place of birth:

1.3 Nationality:

PHOTO

1.4 Address:

1.5 Holder's Signature:

2. DETAILS OF THE PASS:

2.1 Pass Number:

Date issued:

2.2 Valid until:

2.3 Authority's Stamp and Signature:

2.4 Validity extended until:

2.5 Authority's stamp, signature and date:

(1)O.J. No. L93/39 — 17.4.93.

3. PARTICULARS OF FIREARMS:

Type or Class

Make and Model

Calibre or Gauge

Serial or Identification No.

3.1

3.2

3.3

3.4

3.5

3.6

3.7

3.8

3.9

3.10

Category under the Directive

Date of entry

Authority's stamp and signature

Observations

3.1

3.2

3.3

3.4

3.5

3.6

3.7

3.8

3.9

3.10

4. PARTICULARS OF AUTHORISATIONS FOR FIREARMS:

Firearm

Date of authorisation

Valid until

Authority's stamp

3.

3.

3.

3.

3.

3.

3.

3.

3.

3.

5. AUTHORISATIONS OF MEMBER STATES VISITED:

Firearm

Validity of authorisation

Authority's stamp and date

3.

3.

3.

3.

3.

3.

3.

3.

3.

3.

6. INFORMATION ON TRAVELLING WITHIN THE COMMUNITY:

—The right to travel to another Member State with one or more of the firearms in Categories B, C or D entered on this pass is subject to one or more corresponding prior authorisations from the Member State visited. The authorisation or authorisations may be recorded in section 5 of this pass.

—Prior authorisation is not normally necessary for travel with a firearm in Categories C or D with a view to engaging in hunting or with a firearm in Categories B, C or D with a view to engaging in target shooting, provided the traveller has the firearms pass on him and can substantiate the reasons for his journey.

However, according to the information furnished pursuant to Article 8 (3) of Council Directive 9¼77/EEC by Member States which prohibit or make subject to authorisation the acquisition and possession within their territory of a firearm in Categories B, C or D:

6.1 A Journey to

With Firearm(s)

No(s)

Is Prohibited

Belgium

Denmark

France

Germany

Greece

Luxembourg

Italy

Netherlands

Portugal

Spain

United Kingdom

6.2 A Journey to

With Firearm(s)

No(s)

Is Subject to Authorisation

Belgium

Denmark

France

Germany

Greece

Luxembourg

Italy

Netherlands

Portugal

Spain

United Kingdom

GIVEN under my Official Seal, this 9th day of December, 1993.

MÁIRE GEOGHEGAN-QUINN,

Minister for Justice.

EXPLANATORY NOTE.

These regulations give effect to Council Directive 9¼77/ EEC on the control of the acquisition and possession of weapons and to Articles 10 and 11 (which deal with transfers of ammunition) of Council Directive 93/15/EEC on the harmonisation of the provisions relating to the placing on the market and supervision of explosives for civil uses. The regulations provide that the holder of a firearm certificate wishing to travel to another Member State with a firearm is entitled to a European Firearms Pass to be issued by a Superintendent of the Garda Síochána. They also provide for procedural matters relating to the acquisition and transfer of weapons and ammunition.

The regulations provide for a requirement for firearms dealers to retain particulars of transactions for a period of five years and they restrict persons under the age of eighteen years from holding firearm certificates for purposes other than hunting or target shooting.