Question to the Minister for Justice and Equality (Ms. Frances Fitzgerald, TD)
To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality when she will receive a report on the submissions relating to a joint report by her Department and a working group in An Garda Síochána that is reviewing firearms licensing; if consideration will be given to the views and submissions of all stakeholders, including groups representing those who use firearms for sporting purposes prior to making any final decision regarding changes in the licensing system; and if she will make a statement on the matter. – Jerry Buttimer
For WRITTEN ANSWER on Tuesday, 24 March 2015.
In light of public safety concerns highlighted by An Garda Síochána, a joint Department of Justice and Equality/An Garda Síochána Working Group was established by the Department of Justice and Equality to review firearms licensing. The report of this Working Group was published on 13 November 2014 and submissions on the report were sought from stakeholders and the public by 31 January 2015. The consultation process gave individuals and groups an opportunity to contribute to the development of firearms policy and legislation and will enable consideration to be given to the future direction of such legislation. The submissions received are currently being examined and incorporated into a report for me.
The Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality has also sought submissions and held hearings with interested parties in relation to the Working Party report and will publish its own report on the matter. I have already given a commitment that I will not make any decisions until I have met the key stakeholders, including the organisations who represent those who use firearms for sporting purposes.