Brexit – Travelling with Firearms
In the event that the United Kingdom leaves the European Union without a ratified withdrawal agreement, there will be some implications in relation to Ireland and licenced firearms. Material on this topic is available on the website of the Department of Justice and Equality http://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/Pages/Brexit_-_Firearms_and_Explosives.
Given the United Kingdom’s intention to imminently exit the European Union, in order to ensure as smooth a transition as possible to the new arrangements, I would be grateful if you would bring the changed position in respect of firearms licensing between Ireland and the UK to the attention of individuals who you are in contact with who may be affected.
The primary areas affected for those residing in the United Kingdom who wish to travel to Ireland with their firearm for hunting and sporting purposes are as follows:
Non Residents Firearms Certificates
- A non-resident firearm certificate is required by persons resident abroad wishing to shoot in Ireland for hunting or sporting purposes.
The non-resident firearms certificate is granted by individual Garda Superintendents in accordance with the Firearms (Firearms Certificates for Non-Residents) Act 2000. Under Section 8 of the Act, an issuing person may treat any of the following as prima facie evidence of suitability to so grant (a) a European Firearms Pass in the case of a person who is resident in another EU Member State or (b) in any other case, any other permit, licence, authorisation or other document duly issued by an appropriate body outside the State which the issuing person considers appropriate.
In the case of EU residents, the applicant is generally required to present a European Firearms Pass in order for An Garda Síochána to issue the non-resident firearm certificate. European Firearms Passes will no longer be valid for UK residents wishing to shoot in Ireland in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a ratified agreement.
However, other certificates issued by an appropriate authority may be accepted by An Garda Síochána under the Firearms (Firearms Certificates for Non-Residents) Act 2002. In general, a UK applicant will be required to present such an alternative firearms certificate, issued by an appropriate United Kingdom authority, in order for An Garda Síochána to issue the non-resident firearm certificate. This is solely a matter for the issuing Superintendent to determine under the law. Queries on this should be directed to Firearms Policy Unit in Garda Headquarters.
Application forms for a non-resident firearms certificate can be found on the Garda website: https://www.garda.ie/en/About-Us/Online-Services/Firearms-Licensing/
The application should be made to the Superintendent of the district where the applicant first wishes to shoot. The relevant local station can be located via the Garda website at http://www.garda.ie/stations/default.aspx
Transit Licences which the Department of Justice and Equality issue for persons travelling through this State for travel connection purposes
The Department of Justice and Equality issued a small number of transit licences to residents of the UK last year (the vast majority of these were issued to Northern Ireland residents travelling through this State to shoot elsewhere in Europe.). As part of the application process and in the absence of a European Firearms Pass, visitors may submit a firearms licence issued by an appropriate United Kingdom authority acceptable to the Department of Justice and Equality. In the event that the applicant is travelling to another EU Member State, appropriate documentation showing that authorisation is in place to enter that State must also be provided.
Firearm holders resident in Ireland seeking to travel to Britain or Northern Ireland with their firearm should consult the appropriate authority in the UK for the appropriate authorisation. The UK Government has issued a guidance document which can be found here: UK Government Advice – travelling with firearms.