Dáil Éireann - Volume 684 - 16 June, 2009
Written Answers. - Proposed Legislation.
Deputy Mary O’Rourke Deputy Mary O’Rourke
Deputy Mary O’Rourke asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if he will make changes to the Criminal Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill in order to allow sports people to practice their sport. [23806/09]
Deputy Dermot Ahern Deputy Dermot Ahern
Deputy Dermot Ahern: The Criminal Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2009 is scheduled for Committee Stage on 18 June 2009.
The proposals in this Bill relating to the control of firearms are primarily concerned with public safety and the modernising of the licensing system. As I have said previously, my proposals will not impinge adversely on the activities of the vast majority of licensed firearms holders in this country: I recognise that those firearms holders pursue their legitimate interests in a law abiding way.
 The Bill does contain, however, a de facto ban on handguns because the Government has made it clear that it does not wish a handgun culture to take hold here. Handguns are inherently different because they are easy to conceal, can often discharge a large number of bullets rapidly and feature so frequently in gun rampages. I also intend to specifically prohibit a form of target shooting known as practical or dynamic shooting. This type of shooting involves firearms being used in simulated combat or combat training and is anathema to most target shooters. In so far as it is akin to police and military tactical training it is an undesirable activity not rooted in any tradition in Ireland and one which should not have any place in our society.
I met with the Firearms Consultative Panel last week. It is clear that there are some medium and longer term strategic and developmental issues for shooting sports in Ireland and I intend to write to the Minister for Arts, Sports & Tourism in relation to a number of the points raised.
Dáil Éireann 684 Written Answers. Proposed Legislation.