SECURITY REMINDER TO ALL GUN OWNERS

The legal requirements which apply mandatory obligations on gun owners to keep their firearms securely stored at their homes are contained in the FIREARMS (SECURE ACCOMMODATION) REGULATIONS 2009 (S.I. No. 307 of 2009).  The full text of the Regulations can be read on the link below.  The member organisations of the Sports Coalition urge all licence holders to firstly check that their firearms are stored in strict compliance with the regulations.  If there is any doubt as to whether all requirements are being met, consult with your club officers or contact one of the national bodies of the Sports Coalition.  A list of organisations can be found here:  National Bodies

 

The regulations lay down what are the minimum requirements for storage of firearms.  It is of course open to all licence holders to implement additional measures and we urge them to consider whether there is something extra they could do which is practical to improve their security.

 

For those people who have only one shotgun, there is no requirement to have it secured in a gun safe.  But the regulations stipulate that it must be fitted with a trigger lock and that it be broken down into its three main component parts and each part stored separately in different locations in the house.  We suggest that such owners might also consider installing a good quality gun safe which is securely fitted.

 

Lastly, we strongly advise all firearms owners when transporting their firearms to shooting competitions and/or hunting, to travel with the firearm securely locked in the boot of the vehicle and in a gun case or sleeve.  Keep rifle bolts and other parts essential to the operation of the firearm separately, perhaps on your person.  Never, under any circumstances leave a firearm in an unattended vehicle.  And never leave paraphernalia which would indicate gun ownership, such as shooting hats/clothing, cartridge belts, game bags etc., visible in the interior of the vehicle.  Put them out of sight in the boot.

 

It is the responsibility of every firearms owner to take all reasonable steps to ensure their firearm is not stolen.

 

Sports Coalition Press Release, 16/03/2015

Sports Coalition Press Release, 16/03/2015

PRESS STATEMENT

 

The Sports Coalition has welcomed the statement issued by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice and Equality on 11th March in relation to the current firearms licensing review.  The Coalition notes in particular that the Committee will now seek a range of academic perspectives on the issues which have been raised by the current review.  The input of independent experts analysing trends and policies in comparable jurisdictions is a welcome approach as is the move by the Committee to ask the Minister for Justice and Equality to request the Garda Inspectorate to independently assess the procedures and practices relating to firearms licensing.  The Coalition is encouraged that the Oireachtas Committee has identified the importance of reliable statistical data being absolutely necessary where public policy decisions are proposed in this area.

Des Crofton, National Director of the National Association of Regional Game Councils (NARGC) and spokesperson for the Sports Coalition said that the Justice Committee has taken the correct approach and the groups which he represents look forward to working and cooperating with the Committee and its experts and also with the Garda Inspectorate.

“We are delighted that at last the issue of firearms licensing will be subject to an independent and objective analysis instead of the self-serving and misleading propaganda from the Gardai which has characterised this debate for the last five years.  The Gardai and Department of Justice have put forward what can only be described as revenge proposals to penalise law abiding sports shooters for having the temerity to repeatedly challenge the Gardai’s maladministration of the licensing system in the courts and for being vindicated by the court decisions.  The current proposals are based on the proposition that large numbers of licensed firearms are stolen from the homes of their owners and end up in the hands of criminals and are then used in crimes, thereby giving rise to an alleged public safety risk.  Statistics purporting to be representative of this have been published by An Garda Siochana and have been found to have no credibility.  The figures published have been exposed as including a significant number of firearms which were not stolen from licence holders, and included a large variety of items which are not guns at all such as toy guns, gun safes, blank firing guns, imitation guns etc.  Included were 266 rounds of ammunition where each individual round was listed as a stolen gun!  The figures were accompanied by a photograph of a collection of guns, none of which are licensable in this country.  When the padding is stripped out of the figures, there is nothing left to support the public safety risk and indeed the applicable figures give the clearest indication that the very strict home security requirements are working well.  You are then left with nothing other than revenge against the shooting community.”

Mr Crofton stated that the Sports Coalition had previously written to the Minister for Justice and Equality seeking an independent risk assessment and the referral of the licensing practices by the Gardai to the Garda Inspectorate.  He said that while the Minister indicated she was prepared to consider involving the Garda Inspectorate, she had thus far not done anything in that regard and she had rejected the notion of a risk assessment on the advice of the Gardai!.

 

ENDS

16th March, 2015

 

Note to Editors

 

The Sports Coalition is an unincorporated body comprised of Irish representative associations for sports shooting and angling interests. Its objectives are to defend and represent the interests of resident sports shooting and angling men and women. The Coalition was established to disseminate information to, and lobby on behalf of the members of the constituent associations concerning the latest proposals of the Gardai and the Department of Justice and Equality to further restrict possession of firearms for sporting purposes without justification.

 

For further information contact;

Des Crofton

National Director
NARGC

&

Spokesperson for the Sports Coalition.

 

Tele: +353 906 453623
Mobile: +353 87 254 1827;
Email: nargc@nargc.ie
Web:  www.sportscoalition.org

Prime Time Programme on Firearms Proposals

Prime Time Programme on Firearms Proposals

There has been much comment about last night’s Prime Time Programme and I wish to thank the very many people who have sent and published messages of support.

Notwithstanding, some have asked why I was not on the programme in the studio discussion. The answer to this is straightforward. I was at all times available and ready to travel to RTE in Donnybrook for that but the programme makers told me the evening before that as the Gardai were not putting forward a spokesperson for the studio discussion and relying on the recorded interview with CS Healy, it would not be appropriate to have a spokesperson from the “other side” either as the “other side” was also being included by way of recorded interview. And so they opted for two people who would have opposing views on the matter but not directly representative of the two sides.

What followed in the programme should be quite obvious to anyone who watched it. The footage was heavily edited, particularly the interviews. There was a recorded ten minute interview with me and a further ten minute recorded interview with Michael Tope. What was broadcast was approximately 10 seconds of each. There was an excellent interview recorded with Paul Walsh on the mountain which was not broadcast at all. The very reason and basis for the request from the Oireachtas Press Office to have the Prime Time broadcast unit along was to cover the visit of the Justice Committee to Harbour House and do an interview with the Committee’s Chair. None of his interview was broadcast either.

The entire programme was heavily biased towards criminal use of firearms and no attempt was made to broadcast the material which they had from us which would have brought balance to the discussion. Set against that background there was then a studio discussion in which Deputy Finnian McGrath was allowed to persistently talk over William Egan and where Miriam O’Callaghan would not allow William to address the very basis on which the current proposals are based – the false statistics on stolen forearms published by the Gardai – while allowing Deputy McGrath quote them liberally. She said the statistics would “bamboozle” everyone! How insulting to the viewing audience! The entire discussion for such a complex and sometimes emotive subject was afforded just over 7.5 minutes. William Egan has nothing to prove in terms of his commitment and expertise in defending shooting. His track record speaks for itself. He was simply prevented from making his points by the discussion moderator.

The programme, despite the producers having all and sufficient data and material given to them, was unbalanced, biased and trivialised by virtue of not what it addressed, but what it did not. A third party has lodged a formal and detailed complaint about the programme.

We have a clear objective and strategy in relation to the current proposals from which I have no intention of being deflected and we are progressing that strategy today as planned. Comments to public representatives are now even more important.

Des Crofton
National Director
NARGC
&
Spokesperson for the Sports Coalition.

11/3/2015

Prime Time – 10th March 2015

Prime Time – 10th March 2015

PRIME TIME PROGRAMME

 

FIREARMS REVIEW

 

Further to our previous communications on the above matter, please note we are informed that the Prime Time programme is scheduled to be broadcast tomorrow night, March 10th, at 9.30pm.  Please activate all members and supporters as preciously advised send your comments to your public representatives immediately following the programme.  Again, we stress that this is a unique opportunity for all shooting sports enthusiasts to make their views known to their political representatives on this very important issue.

 

At the time of writing this message we do not know as yet what the format of the programme will be, nor do we know who, if anyone, will be on.  All we can confirm is that we provided plenty of interview and film material with which we are happy.  But please be aware, editing can have a significant impact on how the material will be presented.  Another good reason to send your comments to your politicians.

 

 

Des Crofton

National Director
NARGC

&

Spokesperson for the Sports Coalition