1. Where do I apply for a firearms certificate?
The Garda Síochána is the licensing authority for firearms so you should apply at your local Garda station. You can find more information on firearms licensing and the application form on the Garda website.
2. What does a firearms certificate cost?
A firearms certificate costs €80 for three years. This is the same no matter what type of firearm. A firearms training certificate costs €40 for three years. A firearms certificate for a non-resident costs €40 for one year.
3. Will I need to have a gun safe or an alarm?
There are different levels of home security depending on how many firearms you have licensed and on whether they are resticted or non-restricted firearms. The levels of security are set out here (PDF - 101 KB).
4. How old do I have to be before I can apply for a firearms certificate?
You have to be over 16 years of age before you can apply for a firearms certificate. You have to be over 14 years of age before you can apply for a firearms training certificate.
5. What is a firearms training certificate?
A firearms training certificate does not allow you to own a firearm but it does allow you to possess a firearm and ammunition (though not a restricted firearm or restricted ammunition) while carrying and using it under the supervision of a specified person over 18 years of age who holds a firearm certificate for that gun.
You must be over 14 years of age to apply for a training certificate. If you are under 16 years of age, the application for a firearms training certificate must be accompanied by the written consent of the applicant’s parent or guardian.
6. What is a restricted firearm?
Firearms licensable in this country are split into two categories: non-restricted and restricted. Firearms were divided into these categories by a statutory instrument in 2008. This statutory instrument was amended in 2009.
7. What's the position with crossbows, spearguns, paintball markers and airguns such as air rifles?
Crossbows, spearguns and all airguns with a muzzle velocity of over one joule (including paintball markers) are legally considered firearms and have to be licensed. You should apply for a firearms certificate in the normal way.
8. What about CS gas spray, pepper spray and stun guns?
These are all totally prohibited in this country. Importation or possession of any of these items is illegal.
9. I collect old and antique guns. Do I need to licence them?
Antique firearms are exempt from the provisions of the Firearms Acts provided they are held as ornaments or curiosities. More information on this can be found in the firearms licensing guidelines on the Garda website. If you intend to buy one from abroad you should obtain an importation licence from this Department before bringing it into the country.
Modern reproductions of antique firearms are not exempt from firearms legislation.
You may wish to buy an old (but not antique) firearm, or one which is valuable because of its historical significance or as an investment. These firearms require a firearms certificate and you should apply in the normal way.
10. What about deactivated firearms?
Deactivated/defective firearms, not capable of being fired, may be kept on the written authorisation of the local superintendent. The superintendent must be satisfied that the firearm is actually permanently deactivated and may request certification of same from a recognised proof house and have the firearm examined by a suitably qualified member of the Garda Síochána. Ballistics section Garda H.Q. may also be contacted to offer any further assistance if required. The serial number on a deactivated firearm should always be maintained for identification purposes.
11. I would like to register as a firearms dealer/a gunsmith/ an ammunition dealer. Where do I start?
You cannot become a registered firearms dealer if you are disentitled to be registered under the Firearms Acts. The following persons are declared to be disentitled to be registered under section 9 the Firearms Act 1925 as amended by the Criminal Justice Act 2006:
(a) a person under the age of 21 years
(b) a person of unsound mind;
(c) a person who has been sentenced to imprisionment for an offence under the Firearms Acts 1925 to 2006, the Offences against the State Acts 1939 to 1998 or the Criminal Justice (Terrorist Offences) Act 2005;
(d) a person who is bound by a recognisance to keep the peace or be of good behaviour, a condition of which is that the person shall not possess, use or carry a firearm or ammunition.
Before you can be registered you will have to satisfy the Minister for Justice and Equality that you are immediately about to carry on business as a firearms dealer in the Republic of Ireland in premises suitable for that purpose. You should clarify planning permission requirements with your local authority. In considering any such application for registration the Minister shall have regard to the character of the applicant, and generally to the public safety and preservation of the peace.
Regulations will shortly be made specifying minimum standards to be complied with in relation to premises.
More information on the registration process, including the application form, can be found in section of this website for firearms dealers.
12. How do I go about importing or exporting a firearm?
13. I have recently moved to Ireland. Can I get a firearm certificate?
You have to be living here for at least six months before you can apply to hold a firearms certificate. This applies also to Irish citizens returning to Ireland having lived abroad.
The Garda Síochána is the licensing authority for firearms. You can find more information on firearms licensing and the application form on the Garda website.
14. What are Offensive Weapons?
Certain weapons have been listed as offensive weapons.
These include flick-knives, knuckledusters, swordsticks, sword umbrellas, hand and foot claws, belt buckle knives, pushdaggers, hollow kubotans, shurikens, butterfly knives, telescopic truncheons, blowpipes, kusari gama, kyoketsu shoge, manrikigusari, sap gloves, and machetes.
Katanas or 'samurai swords' were added with effect from 1 September 2009, though there are exceptions to the ban designed for collectors and martial artists. You can read the full text of the 1991 Order on offensive weapons here and the 2009 amendment to it here.
The Firearms and Offensive Weapons Act 1990 prohibits the manufacture, importation, sale, hire or loan of offensive weapons and penalties of up to seven years imprisonment can apply.
15. What are the laws on importing knives?
The only type of weapons prohibited for importation are those listed under the 1991 Order on offensive weapons and the 2009 amendment to it. This order includes flick knives and several types of disguised knives among other weapons. Other type of knives can be imported, however an individual could be charged for possession of same in public without a lawful reason as set out in Section 9 of the Firearms and Offensive Weapons Act 1990.
16. Are airsoft imitation firearms and other realistic replicas legal?
Airsoft imitation firearms with a muzzle energy of under one joule are not classed as firearms under the law and do not need to have a firearms certificate. Nor do other non-firing replicas. Recent legislation does make it an offence to possess a realistic imitation firearm in a public place without lawful authority or reasonable excuse. The penalties include up to five years imprisonment.
17. Can I import and sell realistic imitation firearms?
Section 40 of the Criminal Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009 requires that a person who wants to import or sell realistic imitation firearms will have to register with this Department and meet certain standards. We are currently establishing this Register and inviting pre-registrations. You should read section 40 of the Act then click here for more information on pre-registering.