Okay, so we've been rather low-key about this till today, waiting for it all to finalise, but this morning at 1130, Frank Brophy, a target shooter from Wexford, picked up his licence for a Toz-35 olympic target shooting pistol.
This is the first such licence granted in over 30 years in the Republic (though they've always been legal in the North) and it means that for the first time in 32 years we can train a team for the Olympics, hold all-ireland national championships in pistol shooting and so on.
The Toz-35, for those who don't know, is a Russian-made single-shot .22 calibre pistol, specifically designed to compete in the Olympic 50m Free Pistol event. It's about 44cm long, 16cm tall and 12cm wide, and weighs about 1.2 kilos. It's been enormously successful since its release - you walk along the firing line at this year's Olympic Games in Athens and up to half of the firing line will be using Toz-35s of one flavour or another. At the recent Athens World Cup, 26 out of 62 competitors used the Toz for 50m Free Pistol, and the only reason that there wasn't more is that the Toz isn't manufactured any more and they're becoming difficult to get. Here's what they look like:
The licence was initially refused, as per usual, but Frank appealed the decision (which meant going straight to the High Court, as there's no other appeals process for licencing, since your local superintendent is the sole authority for licencing according to the Firearms Acts).
The refusal was quashed, with the consent of both parties, and the Superintendent has now issued Frank his licence.
Hopefully, air pistol can't be far behind, and this will mean a healthy and actively competing olympic pistol community by this time next year, and who knows? Maybe we'll see an Irish target shooter on the firing line for a pistol event in the Olympics in Bejing!
More details are up on www.targetshootingireland.org for those interested...
that's good news. it will be interesting to see how the next few people get on with their applications.
it always seemed strange that legitimate target shooters could not have a pistol, but just about anyone can get a letter off a firearms officer and buy a replica blank firing pistol. a mate of mine has bought a Beretta 92fs replica that fires 10mm blanks. still capable of doing someone a lot of damage at close range, and you would be hard pressed to tell the difference between it and the real thing.
Great to hear this.... went out shooting last week and it was main topic of conversation.
Anyone know of any range that is suitable for pistols ???
Only up north mcguiver. On a related note, it now appears that the policy of not issuing licences based on calibre or type of firearm has been rescinded, which means that all the olympic stuff is back - air pistol, standard pistol, free pistol, everything.
I think I'll wait a while and see how that goes, don't want to fall out with my local firearms officer.
Well, he'll just evaluate the application as it stands. If you're going for one of the ISSF pistols, you shouldn't have much of a problem. Obviously if you're going for one of the higher-power sidearm thingys, it's a different barrel of monkeys alltogether.
But, the rumours are saying that the amendments for the firearms acts that are in the pipeline are going to crack down again before christmas.
Damage their hearing, maybe?
No, both will damage your hearing equally. And if you point either at someone, you're risking their lives (see Brandon Lee's tragic end for an example).
So does that mean all the shiny pistols we buy will get confiscated, or those who get a license before christmas can keep their guns?
I've a feeling that instead of approaching the whole pistol ownership thing nice and quietly, i.e establishing ownership of target pistols, building up a good reputation etc. showing we can handle these firearms safely etc. people are gonna rush out to buy everything and anything... and create a lot of bad publicity..... We all know the press are gonna jump on this one as soon as someone gets a flashy gun.
Bit of background: My name is Ewan, Ive taken up 10m olympic air pistol shooting over here in Germany, will be returning to Ireland in September. Would like to buy a sensible target air pistols like the IZH-46M, Im not after a Desert Eagle or something
Unfortunately from talking to a few shooters since the 1st pistol licence went through, most of them are looking at flashy sidearms, quick draw holsters, extended mags....... a bit o.t.t. ... much as I would love one myself, I've a feeling the extreemists will scare the authorities.
That's the worrying bit mcguiver. I'm just waiting for the first IPSC club to be set up and the first "we have a right to own these" type of statement to be made
I mean, right now it's time for quiet restraint, not yelling and shouting.
Ewan, yes, it is a risk - pistols were effectively confiscated in 1972 without compensation. Of course, you could buy one and store it in Northern Ireland if it looks like the law is going to change on us badly, and either shoot it there or sell it off from there. Which is akward, but then again - if there are pistols being used sensibly here, it makes a better case for not banning them. And the DoJ have hinted in the past that they'll allow target pistols, it's the sidearms that they want gone.
Back before the ban, was there regulations regarding carrying/storing of pistols??
Yes mcguiver, the same ones as exist now - the ban wasn't so much a ban as a policy not to licence certain types and calibres of firearms, as opposed to a change in legislation.