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What questions should Boards.ie members ask political candidates to answer?

  • 30-01-2011 5:20pm
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 4,243 ✭✭✭ Darragh


    In an effort to ensure that all our members are as well informed as they need to be about the General Election and to give candidates an opportunity to let us know what their policies and answers to questions, we'd like your help in compiling the list of question that every candidate should answer.

    Over on Newstalk, Tom Dunne has shared a door-stop list, as follows:
    IF A POLITICIAN CALLS LOOKING FOR YOUR VOTE, PUT THESE QUESTIONS TO HIM OR HER.
    1. What reforms have you planned for the HSE? Any hope of making the health service more efficient?
    2. Would you put a cap on the cost of ministerial cars to vehicles that are a little less ostentatious and
    3. better value for money, e.g. a ford fiesta?
    4. Was the IMF / EU bailout a good deal in your opinion and if not can you renegotiate if elected?
    5. Are you travelling abroad on St. Patrick’s Day at my expense and what do you hope to achieve by it?
    6. Why does the Dail get such long holidays and is it fair on the rest of us?
    7. How much do you think politicians should be paid?
    8. Why are certain public servants and members of semi-state bodies paid so much money?
    9. What real and tangible initiatives does your party have for creating jobs?
    10. Will you do anything about reducing the excessive number of costly media advisors to the Taoiseach
    11. and cabinet?
    12. Would you reverse any decisions made in propping up the banks with taxpayer’s money?
    13. Given that each ministerial pension costs so much to fund, what is the average fully laden cost to us
    14. for each TD? How many do we really need?
    15. If the candidate is Fianna Fail: what are your plans for after the election?
    16. If the candidate is Fine Gael: when do you plan to release Enda from captivity?

    AND IF THEY’RE STILL ON YOUR DOORSTEP:
    • Have we enough salt and grit for the next cold snap?
    • Can we have some more bank holidays throughout the year please?
    • Have we any hope of winning the Eurovision ever again?

    Questions from here.

    What do you think of the questions? Are there more that should be asked? What questions should the party leaders ask? What will you be asking candidates that come to your door?


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Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,081 ✭✭✭ LeixlipRed


    Will you go into coalition or support a minority government with either FF or FG? If they say yes, I say no thanks.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 19,347 Chucky the tree


    How do you plan to tackle the €19bn deficit? The most important question that needs to be asked.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,693 Laminations


    If FF: how do you dissociate the partys actions from your continued supportive membership? Why did you join FF and is it not long past you leaving? You wouldn't eat a cherry out of a diaper so why should I vote for the one 'good' FFer?


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,584 Heisenberg.


    This post has been deleted.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,109 Cavehill Red


    1. Will you or will you not introduce legislation to renege on the bank guarantee and burn the bondholders of the Irish banks?

    2. Given that the political system in Ireland is horrifically flawed, would you support the introduction of a direct democratic system in this country so that the people could govern themselves?

    3. The Green Party proposed an 'Economic Treason' bill in January. Will you introduce this and make it retrospective?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,549 ✭✭✭ pajor


    Do you have a policy on tackling and/or simplifying the ridiculous web of regressive taxes that exist in this country?

    eg. VAT, VRT, fuel duty, tourist taxes etc etc


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,089 ✭✭✭ henryporter


    A few good questions would be:

    "Are you going to have Bertie Ahern, Charlie McCreevy and Brian Cowen tried for negligence and treason?"

    "Will others such as Michael Woods who accepted full liability on behalf of the Irish People for the abuse of institutionalised children by the Church, Gardai and other state officials, Martin Cullen who presided over the voting machine farce, the collection of imbeciles (Ray Burke, Noel Dempsey et al) who gave away our natural resources in the Corrib Gas field, Mary Harney for her part in allowing a HR IT system to spiral completely out of control (from €9M to €220M in costs without implementation) as well as giving contracts to Consultants far in excess of what they deserve, also be shown the inside of Mountjoy rather than swanning off into the sunset with their unbelievable pensions?"

    "Will you address the issue of over representation as it currently stands AKA why is there 166 of you when only about 10 of you are doing anything at a National level while the rest of you waste our extremely hard earned tax euros on getting re-elected over your entire term of office?"

    "Why do you think it's necessary to remove the Seanad altogether when whats needed is radical reform in the shape of reducing the numbers to about 15 in total and ensuring those 15 are party apolitical and allowing everyone to vote for the entire membership of the Seanad??"

    "Will you introduce accountability to the Public Service including sackable offences, real performance measures and so on. Also will you re-introduce benchmarking on the basis that 'what went up, must come down in line with private sector salaries (as I seem to recall the entire logic of benchmarking I was based - in reverse of course)'"

    Oh and of course:

    "Can I get those potholes that completely wrecked the rim of one of my car wheels last week filled in because thats what I though my €600 per annum road tax was for?"


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,907 ✭✭✭ Badabing


    To Gerry Adams- Are/were you in the IRA? Where are all 'missing' buried?


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 9,347 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Manach


    Q: How will you eliminate the deficit?
    Q: What exactly do ye know of the Hi-Tech sector?
    Q: Will you support a removal of the the Treason Act 1939?
    Q: What is your position on the right to life?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,619 ✭✭✭ ilovesleep


    What will you do to reform the prisons?

    Would you bring back execution for when cowen, ahern, mccreevy and lenihan are guilty of negligence and treason.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 75 ✭✭ Redr


    A few good questions would be:

    "Are you going to have Bertie Ahern, Charlie McCreevy and Brian Cowen tried for negligence and treason?"

    "Will others such as Michael Woods who accepted full liability on behalf of the Irish People for the abuse of institutionalised children by the Church, Gardai and other state officials, Martin Cullen who presided over the voting machine farce, the collection of imbeciles (Ray Burke, Noel Dempsey et al) who gave away our natural resources in the Corrib Gas field, Mary Harney for her part in allowing a HR IT system to spiral completely out of control (from €9M to €220M in costs without implementation) as well as giving contracts to Consultants far in excess of what they deserve, also be shown the inside of Mountjoy rather than swanning off into the sunset with their unbelievable pensions?"

    "Will you address the issue of over representation as it currently stands AKA why is there 166 of you when only about 10 of you are doing anything at a National level while the rest of you waste our extremely hard earned tax euros on getting re-elected over your entire term of office?"

    "Why do you think it's necessary to remove the Seanad altogether when whats needed is radical reform in the shape of reducing the numbers to about 15 in total and ensuring those 15 are party apolitical and allowing everyone to vote for the entire membership of the Seanad??"

    "Will you introduce accountability to the Public Service including sackable offences, real performance measures and so on. Also will you re-introduce benchmarking on the basis that 'what went up, must come down in line with private sector salaries (as I seem to recall the entire logic of benchmarking I was based - in reverse of course)'"

    Oh and of course:

    "Can I get those potholes that completely wrecked the rim of one of my car wheels last week filled in because thats what I though my €600 per annum road tax was for?"

    Love it!!!! But ... let them pay for their time in Mountjoy with their pensions. While I believe they should be prosecuted and serve I've paid enough for and to these wretched people. Legislation passed for this please.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 758 whydoibother?


    Without reference to whose fault it was, what are your proposals for improvements to the current EU/IMF bailout arrangement?

    How will you create jobs? If you're planning on saying anything vague such as "by getting the economy moving", "by generating economic growth","by attracting foreign investment", I also want three specific examples of the method you would use, to back up each such assertion please.

    Where do you stand on the Corporation Tax Rate?

    Ireland has suffered a lot due to "parish-pump politics". The number of new roads in a certain part of Kerry springs to mind. Would you reform the methods we use to elect our representatives, so that each has a stronger sense of loyalty to the country as a whole than to their local areas and so that political dynasties are removed? If so, how?

    Who will be your front-bench? Do they as individuals have any experience in the areas they are about to take charge of, or will it be a case of pick the people first, and then squash them into roles whether they're suitable or not? (Jobs for the boys)

    The HSE is not functioning effectively. There are too many admin. people and not enough front line healthcare workers. The embargo on recruiting is having a very negative effect, as seen by the numbers on trolleys at Christmas. On the other hand the HSE is relatively young and there is a school of thought that any radical overhaul of health service, as this was, takes time to get rewards. Where do you stand on all this? Would you scrap, reform or support the current HSE? If scrap or reform, please state the changes you would make and why.

    Inspired by the previous question, most new governments engage in chopping, changing and renaming of departments to signal "reform". This can often be an expensive exercise, in a futile attempt to get the public to believe they are bringing about change. Are you planning any butchery of the Civil Service? What specific changes would you make and how would they be of benefit?

    A great job has been done promoting Ireland as a tourist destination. Most polls suggest that foreign people view Ireland as a beautiful country and a desirable place to visit. However, they then discover that planning a holiday to Ireland can be very hard work for a lot of people. The rather hilarious list of documents on website of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service website that a person may have to produce (depending on where they are from) includes:
    - confirmation of a hotel booking or a letter of invitation from their reference in Ireland confirming that accommodation will be provided
    - If they are employed, confirmation from the employer of this, of their dates of annual leave, and of the date they are returning to work
    - 3 consecutive payslips.
    These are just a sample, there are many more.
    Given that most of the countries that are booming at the moment, China etc., are outside the EU, what is your policy on torturing tourists?


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 34,568 ✭✭✭✭ Biggins


    There are some very good questions here.
    I hope those proposing them will not mind my answering a lot of them on my own site - once the election has been officially called and my application for standing has been accepted by our county returning officer.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,774 raymon


    If FF : Are you corrupt ?


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 34,568 ✭✭✭✭ Biggins


    raymon wrote: »
    If FF : Are you corrupt ?
    :D

    Do you really expect a corrupt person to honestly answer that? :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,086 ✭✭✭ Michael Nugent


    Atheist Ireland is writing to all election candidates asking their views on six questions that are central to building a rational, ethical society with a secular State that does not support any religion. We will publish the candidates’ replies before the election.

    We also ask voters to ask their local candidates these six questions. Most of us will vote based on economic policies or party allegiance. If several candidates share your views on these issues, please choose the candidate that most supports a rational, ethical, secular Ireland. Ask them:

    1. Will you work to reform the education system so that all children in your constituency can access publicly-funded schools which have no religious ethos?
    2. Would you support a referendum to remove religious references from the Constitution, including the religious oath for the President and Judges?
    3. Do you believe that blasphemy should be a criminal offence?
    4. Would you support legislation to prevent state-funded hospitals from having a religious ethos that makes medical decisions based on religious beliefs?
    5. Would you vote to ensure that religious bodies are treated the same as other organisations under equality and employment legislation?
    6. Do you believe that religions, like other organisations, should have to pay their fair share of tax on income that is not used to fund charitable activities?

    In the last Census, over a quarter of a million people either ticked the ‘No Religion’ box (186,000), or didn’t answer the question (70,000), or wrote in an answer that isn’t a religion (over 2,000). With the dramatic changes in Irish society since the last Census, we believe the figure today is much higher.

    We also hope that many religious Irish people will want to practice their faith without seeking support from the State that discriminates against other citizens. Please vote to support a secular Ireland, where every citizen has the right to their religious beliefs, and where the State remains neutral on these beliefs.


  • Registered Users Posts: 827 Cian92


    Any plans to get my road repaired? Not filled in, if it was done properly the first time it won't need to be filled in later.

    Will you re-instate the old minimum wage of 8.65?

    Will you reduce employers PRSI?

    Will you scrap PRSI and integrate it into the USC? Why should i be paying two social taxes?

    Will we see those responisble for this mess punished?

    Will you radically overhall the Seanad and not scrap it?

    Will you press ahead with water charges? If not, why should my taxes subsidise other peples water? I never got free water, I had to build my own pump.

    Will you have a ministerial car and driver if elected?

    What promises will you give to public servants that you will not vilify them with unfair pay cuts?

    Would you consider increasing taxes for those earning over a million?

    How would you encourage entrepreneurship?

    What will you do for the vulnerable, such as the disabled? When vital services are being cut?

    Do you support centres of excellence, in our health system?

    How will you prevent this sort of crisis happening again?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,774 raymon


    Biggins wrote: »
    :D

    Do you really expect a corrupt person to honestly answer that? :D

    No , but I would like to see their faces.

    However the FF canvassers in my area are in hiding.
    They would be foolish to go out canvassing.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 22,785 Black Briar


    In the light of their poor performance running the country,and similar to proposals on bank bonuses, Will there be a supertax of 90% on retired ministers and T.D's pensions?


  • Registered Users Posts: 60 ✭✭✭ benagain


    Redr wrote: »
    Love it!!!! But ... let them pay for their time in Mountjoy with their pensions. While I believe they should be prosecuted and serve I've paid enough for and to these wretched people. Legislation passed for this please.
    if i could string a sentence together that would pretty much do the job tyvm op:cool:


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  • Registered Users Posts: 60 ✭✭✭ benagain


    In the light of their poor performance running the country,and similar to proposals on bank bonuses, Will there be a supertax of 90% on retired ministers and T.D's pensions?
    A fookin men to that as well


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5 ✭✭✭ GraMirembe


    Apathy would be such an easy option, but to hell with that, FF need to leave.

    So, If FF come to your door telling you that the corruption that has taken place over the last decade was under dishonest FF politicians, and that FF want to show their true FF 'honest' colours now...ask them to come back to you when the FF politician is willing to open their mouth in the Dáil and tell their colleagues and 'peers' that they will not be part of any under the carpet activity because 'THEY ARE REPRESENTING THEIR CONSTITUENCY'...who they 'RESPECT SO MUCH'.!!

    Ask them how they find it easy to disgrace Bertie Ahern now, but while he was in power, all of them were backing his ludacrous behaviour?

    If any other party comes to your door..ask them:

    'How would you recommend I train myself to ever trust the word of an Irish politician again'

    'Do you believe that the system of voting you into government because you are my friend is ethical/make sense/the way to run a country'??

    I must add, I have only become interested in politics in the past year, and as a student of 20 years, i am sorry I bothered..it is very disheartening how this country operates...

    'It's not what you know...it's who you know...and how much cash you can pay them'


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20,649 CDfm


    The Compensation Claims for lots of things run into many billions - child abuse, haemophiliac hepititus.

    The common denominator is public servants not doing their jobs.

    Where are the prosecutions.

    Fine Gael - why do you want to be in government when the only purpose of the Dail according to John Bruton is to rubberstamp Civil Service decisions.

    Labour & Socialists . According to Joe Higgins - Public Servants are working class and they earn 50% more than private sector workers. What are you fighting against if you are fighting the establishment.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,684 Owen


    From my thread in the Motors Forum :

    Nearly 90 Euro to fill the tank this morning - it cost me about 80 Euro to fly myself, the other half and our bags return to Faro in October (It's a dump btw, don't bother going). It used to cost me about 58 Euro. With all the palava about Government scandals, banking, mortgage payments going up, wages down - I'm starting to think the cost of motoring in Ireland is now effectively a stealth drain on our wallets that we seem to grumble about, but not take notice.

    The fuel prices here now are absolutely sky high, with warnings that they're going to go higher again. Motor Tax in this country is also expensive, as is Insurance, and of course the purchase price of vehicles in the first place (But I do agree that VRT is a necessary evil).

    Whoever comes to power next, needs to introduce some sort of policy to restore the cost of motoring in this country to a more affordable level. In my opinion - and that's all it is -

    Petrol should be no more than 1.10 a litre.
    Diesel no more than a Euro.
    Motor Tax at the highest level for older cars should be 800, and an average 2 litre car should be 400 Euro.

    I don't have a family, but I've been talking to friends who do and they get stressed now about driving. They calculate only the essential trips, and most of them have admitted to playing fuel light roulette to see if they can postpone filling up just one more trip until the wages/dole come in.

    If fuel prices go any higher, companies will also keep their vans off the road, and this will affect economy growth too. I know of one Healthcare company who havve kept 50% of their sales reps off the road this year and are selling via the phone. They're not doing as much sales as they did with their cars, but it's better in the company's eyes than having them on the road and paying lease/insurance/fuel bills of hundreds per week.

    We have no proper public transport outside Dublin, and cars are a necessity - especially for those in rural areas. Isn't it about time someone in one of the parties took a stand on finally reducing the cost of motoring for people in Ireland - especially in recessionary times?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,717 Nehaxak


    a) Can I have a copy of your detailed Economic policy/plan for the next 5 years ?

    b) In regards to a) I've looked on your website in regards your economic policy/plan and when I've eventually managed to find some details on same, it was only full of short headlines with little or no detail, no long term detailed planning and no in-depth information within - Why ?

    c) In regards to a) and b) Will you make available on your website, clearly viewable and easily found, your party's full in-depth economic policies and plan for the next 4/5 years which contains more than populist headlines ?

    d) If FG - You've said in your Economic plan that you will create 100,000+ jobs - How exactly do you plan on doing this ?

    e) If FG - You've said in your Economic plan, that you will cut 30,000+ from the public service, another 10% from the civil service in government offices, close FÁS, close the HSE and close 145 Quango's - How many, approximately, will be made unemployed by these closures on top of the 30,000 let go from the public service ? How many people exactly is 10% of the civil servants currently in government offices ?

    f) If FG and in regards to e) With all those newly unemployed you've created, what are your plans for them or must they just confine themselves to the dole queue ?

    g) If FG or Labour - If you fail to get a significant reduction in the interest rate attained from the IMF, and/or whatever interest rate reduction you do get makes little or no difference - what then ?

    h) If SF - If burning the bondholders creates a situation whereby Ireland can no longer attain funds or the funds that can be attained are at such a high interest rate attached as to make them impossible to repay, from the international markets - what then ?

    i) To all parties - Would you consider implementing an Economic plan similar to Hong Kong's, which has been a fantastic success ?

    j) What will your party do to stop corruption in politics ?

    k) What will your party do to further protect the rights of children in Irish society ?

    l) What will your party do to get rid of the NRA, Gay Byrne, revert the stupid amount of ridiculous penalty point offences and finally make driving even just a little bit more enjoyable again ?

    m) If in Dublin - Any chance your party could provide proper, safe cycle lanes North of the city/county instead of just the South side ?

    n) Would your party consider opening protected, safe, cycle lanes on the wonderful motorways we have now, considering the NRA have taken all the fun out of driving anyway ? Or if not, would you consider making provision for same on any future motorway developments ?

    o) What is your party stance in regards the TV licence fee and would your party consider either abolishing it or drastically reducing the cost of same ?

    p) What improvements, if any, can your party guarantee me if I have to pay water rates ? Will the water rates be metered or charged a flat rate ?

    q) Would your party consider implementing tax incentive schemes for computer games development companies to set-up or relocate their operations to Ireland ?

    r) Given the funding the GAA gets in Ireland - would your party consider supporting youth soccer academies in association maybe with both Irish, UK and European football clubs ? Possibly tax incentives for setting up same here to lessen the costs ?

    s) Would your party consider removing Stephen Ireland's citizenship as he's such a dick ?

    t) What is your party internet broadband policy, or more to the point, what is you party policy on improving access, provision and quality of same ?

    u) What state bodies does your party consider open for privatisation and if any, why ?

    v) Would your party consider implementing a cap on salaries in charitable organisations/NGO's in order for same to receive any direct or matched funding from the state ? Particularly so in relation to higher management, CEO and board member salaries.

    w) Would your party put into place considerable protections for whistleblowers of private, public, charitable and religious organisations/groups ?

    x) What is your party stance in regards large donations from big business, media, religious, multinationals and any entities outside of Ireland or the EU ?

    y) What is your party stance in regards the continued threat from dissident Republican and loyalist groups ?

    z) If you don't get elected, can I have your stuff ?

    I could probably go on and on, it's no wonder SF are the only ones to ever canvas at my door any more - and even they're probably sick of me.


  • Registered Users Posts: 47 ✭✭✭ oooomy


    can i have a free house in one of those ghost estates i keep hearing about? :pac:


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,108 ✭✭✭ RachaelVO


    So many a1 questions here! My particular favourite for the FFs,

    Do you believe that the FF led government got it completely, awfully wrong to the detriment of the Irish people?
    If no... DOOR SLAM

    If yes... Well why are you still a member? Respect for this constituency suggests you should have the courage of your convictions and leave, so why haven't you left!


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,584 PCPhoto


    I know I shouldn't but here goes:

    What are your policies towards crime ? since the economic downturn crime is on the increase .... why is there no increase in the numbers of gardai on the streets?

    Why are we as a nation more reactive than pro-active .... like the HSE, they wait for someone to die before it is used as an example of inefficiencies/lack of funding etc.

    Why are there so many Civil Servants - Can the state run with less of them ? .... can we put a limit on family relations in Civil Service jobs ? (no more than 2 per family...marriage to another civil servant would be the ONLY exception to the rule)


    Do you think we can get rid of the double jobbing of politicians (ie. become a full-time teacher, change careers into a politician and your job is held for you if/when you are ousted from politics - a temp is hired in order to fill you job)

    and ministerial pensions/former TD/minstererial/Taoiseach's pensions ..... why do the state support former taoiseach's and their families, why do politicians get post job support ?

    On the subject of politicians
    EXPENSES !! .... why not make it simple - anyone living in Dublin TD's should get a capped salary €60K, Ministers €75K .... anyone living outside Dublin should get an extra €10-20K ..... NO MORE EXPENSES - if you earn this much and cant afford to get to work..... get a real job !!! (we'd soon see who cares about the money and who cares about the job)

    ROADS ! - why cant we have a proper system in place to teach people how to drive and proper enforcement/punishement when someone breaks the rules...... camera's/traffic corps should be positioned at most junctions and immediate on the spot fine for breaking a red light, stopping in a yellow box and road rage flashing lights, beeping ..... loads of fines.

    Change the Speed Camera system to the "Speed Lottery System" - this has been mentioned before Cant remember who came up with the idea - but loads of cameras everywhere.... if you are over the limit you are fined ..... if you are under the limit your licence plate goes into a draw and you can earn money for obeying the laws...... it benefits people who obey the law and punishes those who dont...if you are caught speeding you are exempt from winning anything in the "lottery" for X amount of days ..... regular speeders get caught, one time speeders are not punished.

    Meh .... thats all I'm gonna mention for now.


  • Registered Users Posts: 163 ✭✭ line6


    this looks like a good idea


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  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 40,053 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sparks


    Sparks wrote: »
    My first question would be:
    "What Ministerial seat have you been promised by the leader of your party?".

    Because if the candidate isn't going to be a Minister, there's little point in talking to them. Let them know you shoot and that that'll be an issue for you, yes; but any questions you ask of them, the answers won't be worth the time it takes to listen to them. Send information through them back up the party chain to the guy who'll make the decisions, yes. Listen to a flunky who ranks at the same level as the tea-lady, not so much.

    What we were thinking of doing here for the election, btw, was collating a set of questions and then forwarding that to each of the party's relevant spokespeople for an official party statement of intent, and invite them to post in here on that. Does that sound of interest to people?

    (the answer was yes, so...)
    Sparks wrote: »
    In which case let's start the list.

    Personally, I'd ask:
    • Who will your party's nominee for the role of Minister for Justice be?
    • What is your party's official position on private firearms ownership and does your nominee for Minister for Justice support this position?
    • What are your party's plans to reform the Firearms Act?
    • What are your party's plans to reform the Explosives Act?
    • What are your party's plans to reform the Wildlife Act?
    • Does your party propose to extend the Firearms Consultation Panel's remit and make it a consultation body on a permanent basis?
    • Does your party propose to modify the Restricted Firearms SI to permit private ownership of centerfire pistols?


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