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How to obtain a firearms training certificate.

  • 26-07-2020 7:41pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 2 Miskovich


    Hello, I was wondering how I would get a firearms training certificate which would allow me to use a firearm under supervision.
    Could you guys help me?

    I was wondering about the age, training & other requirements for obtaining this licence.
    Garda.ie FAQ, Local Gardaí & Firearms Trainer weren't much help.
    Thank you.


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 436 ✭✭ JP22


    Please see FAQ's on Dept of Justice website. I am unable to post the link????

    You must be over 14 and under 16 years of age.

    From what I have been told, simplest way is for your father/mother/guardian (over 18 yrs of age) applies for the licence and you are the second named person on the licence.

    Others here will know more.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 27,534 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Cass


    Miskovich wrote: »
    Hello, I was wondering how I would get a firearms training certificate which would allow me to use a firearm under supervision.
    Could you guys help me?
    First thing you need is someone with a licensed firearm, that is over 18, that is willing to let you license the firearm and allow you to shoot with them.

    Once that hurdle is jumped you need to apply for the training license. There is a minimum age of 14 but no maximum age. You can get a training license at any age, but it is aimed at youngsters as anyone over 16 can get a full license so its generally uncommon for someone over 16 to apply for one.

    Anywho, get or download an FCA1 application form (from your local Garda Station or the Garda website, here).

    Here is a short guide on how to fill out the FCA1.

    For the following sections:
    • Section 1 - Tick "Training Firearm Certificate" and in the box below tick "I have not held a certificate for this firearm in the previous three years".
    • Section 2.1 - Fill in all the personal information stuff. Everything.
    • Section 2.2 - Give name, address and phone number for your GP, and any other doctor you might be visiting.
    • Section 2.3 - You need two people to vouch for you as referees. Supply their name, address and details in this section.
    • Section 2.4 - Tick the boxes as appropriate.
    • Section 2.5 - Ignore. (*** see additional information below ***)
    • Section 3.1 - Fill in the details of the gun you intend to "joint" license. All the info will be on the firearm certificate of whomever's gun you intend to license.
    • Section 3.2 - Tick "silencer" if its a rifle and the person has a suppressor. Ignore "sights" box, its only for NV stuff.
    • Section 3.3 - As this is a joint license you skip part A and fill in section B. You include the person's name, address, contact number, certificate number and for how you got the gun write "Joint license".
    • Section 3.4 - Ignore
    • Section 3.5 - Tick "YES", and then give the address of the current license holder.
    • Section 4.1 - Tick English, and below that write in the amount of rounds you want. I'd apply for the same as the current license holder. Then write in the current license holders certificate number.
    • Section 4.2 - Tick whichever applies. I don't know what the gun is or what you intend to use it for so only you can answer the questions in this section. Just know if you tick target shooting you will be required to show membership of a range and if hunting you will be required to produce membership to a club or private permissions on lands you have permission to hunt on.
    • Section 4.3 - Fill in any details of a range or club if you are a member of either.
    • Section 4.4 - Here is the important one. Fill in the current license holders certificate number. You need your parent or guardian to sign this part of the form. Then print their name, address, contact details, etc. and date it.
    • Section 5.1 - Tick yes (no need for licenses as your firearms license covers you for all non licenseable species. IOW rabbits, foxes, etc. just not Deer)
    • Section 5.2 - Ignore
    • Sign it, and date it.

    *** ADDITIONAL INFORMATION - This information is in regard to section 2.5, competence. When someone is applying for a firearm they must show competence the first time. This is usually done via one of four ways, however as you are applying for a training license which by its very definition is a means of starting off in shooting sports no certificate of competence is required. You might face a little resistance on this. By that i mean An Gardaí may still ask, even demand, a competence certificate but if you're under 16 and applying for a training license this negates the requirement for a competence certificate and there may even be legal issues with someone under 16 doing a competence course. ***

    Ask the person who's gun you are licensing to accompany you when submitting your paperwork.

    You need to provide more information for some sections on a separate piece of paper, labelled "Additional Information". See which sections apply to you, and fill in the following for those sections:
    1. Section 2.1 - Previous Address: If you have lived elsewhere provide those addresses.
    2. Section 2.5 - Outlined above.
    3. Section 4.1 - Amount of Ammo: I am requesting 250-500 (example) rounds of ammunition for the following reasons:
      • Empty (fired) casings are treated the same as live rounds as per the Firearms Act, 1925 where it states that "ammunition for a firearm is any ingredient or component part of any such ammunition", with component part being the bullet, the casing, the propellant or the primer. So my license must allow me to have a high enough limit to have both live and fired rounds in my possession.
      • I regularly take part in clay shoots and actively attend clay ranges for practice. As a result of this I can go through a large quantity of rounds in a short period of time. (ONLY IF IN A RANGE/CLUB)
      • Buying bulk rounds of ammunition to reduce trips to dealer and for cost implications.
      • Distance to dealer being excessive & inconvenient.
      • The person who holds the main license has "X" amount of ammunition and i must be licensed to carry the same amount if/when i'm out with this person.
    4. Section 4.2 - Reason for Gun:
      • Control of vermin on listed lands
      • To learn to safely handle a firearm
      • Clay pigeon shooting/target shooting (ONLY IF IN A RANGE/CLUB)
      • Hunting of game during the open seasons.


    For your first licenses you need to be as complete as possible, but for any additional licenses over the years you'll find some of the above does not need to be filled in. You'll also find when you decide to go for a license of your own on a gun of your own that this license will act as your proof of competence instead of a 30 minute course.


    Think that covers most/all of it. Anything else, just ask.

    Forum Charter - Useful Information - RFDs - Ranges by County - Hunting Laws/Important threads


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2 Miskovich


    Thanks!! Do I need to obtain any training beforehand? You guys were much more helpful than the local Gardaí.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 27,534 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Cass


    Miskovich wrote: »
    Thanks!! Do I need to obtain any training beforehand?
    No.

    The training license is your "authorisation" to obtain training in the safe and competent handling of firearms. Its not about proficiency, just that you are safe with a firearm. Now if you were going for a full license then yes you would need to show competence. It can be shown in one of four ways:
    1. Competence Certificate - Do a competence course with a range, association or other reputable group and they will present you with a certificate of completion which you can attach to your FCA1.
    2. Previous experience - If you are currently or ever held a firearms license in the past this can show competence. Also time spent in a job (such as defense forces) where firearm were used should suffice.
    3. Letter of support - If you have friends that can write letters of support to say you have accompanied them to the range, on shoots, etc and showed a clear aptitude for firearm safety. Obviously not shot the guns because without a license that would be illegal.
    4. Training certificate - If you held a firearms training certificate then this will show you have been under the supervision of someone for "X" amount of years and are competent to have a firearm of your own.
    You are going for option four, the training license.

    There is a bit to consider. For instance what age are you? If you're under 16 then the training certificate is the best, and possibly only, way to go. If you're over 16 then you may apply for a full license, on the same firearm as your friend, but will need to show competence in advance via options one to three above (option four, the training license, is redundant or moot at this point).

    What firearm are you thinking of licensing? A rifle and shotgun are two completely different articles and knowing how one works is not the same as knowing about the other. Some competence courses only show one of these, usually shotgun, and give you a certificate which leaves you wholly unprepared to own the other, usually a rifle.

    What purpose do you want it for? As i outlined above if its for hunting you need to show you have permission on lands for which to hunt or be a member of a hunting club. This requires written permission from either the land owners or the club. If its for target shooting well that can only be done on an authorised range and as such you need to show you are a member of a rifle/target range which involves membership, fees, attendance records, etc.

    You guys were much more helpful than the local Gardaí.
    The members of this forum have a huge collective knowledge on firearms, ownership, safety, fieldcraft, etc. They do it because it's a sport, hobby and passion. Its in all our interests to know the laws and guidelines because of the tools we use in our sport. Hence any infraction of those laws could result in fines and/or prison. You would do well to make use of their knowledge and ask as many questions as you can think off.

    I mean if you walk down the road with a hurl you'll most likely never get a second look. Do the same with a knife, or God forbid a gun and you'll get the back of your collar felt pretty quickly by guys in tactical clothing and armed.

    An Gardaí don't really need to know the ins and outs of every law as the few that deal with firearms are "restricted" to a small area of it. Hence they may not know the full extent of every aspect, in fact few people do. As i've mentioned numerous times on this forum there are over 18 firearm acts, 63 SIs, and 3 EU directive relating (directly or indirectly) to firearm ownership. No one knows it all.

    Forum Charter - Useful Information - RFDs - Ranges by County - Hunting Laws/Important threads


    If you see a problem post use the report post function, "FLAG" & let a Moderator deal with it.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 698 ✭✭✭ Uinseann_16


    Hi Cass thats an excellent response but i will say one thing when i got my Firearms training certificate i was forced to do a competency course beforehand so it will depend on the super in the district :o
    OP i would follow Cass's advice however if they ask you to complete a competency course do it makes life easier and you will have it done when time comes to get a full licence ;)


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  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 27,534 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Cass


    Hi Cass thats an excellent response but i will say one thing when i got my Firearms training certificate i was forced to do a competency course beforehand so it will depend on the super in the district :o
    I understand what you're saying and as i outlined in detail above there is always push back. I got it when i went to get my young lad his training license. It sat on a shelf in the local station for nearly 2 months and when i got no word i went down only to be told that there was no certificate of competence and hence the application could not be processed.

    What followed was a rather pissed off me asking why in the hell it was sitting on a shelf and i was not informed about this. Also a few questions such as:
    • Why does a 14 to 16 year old need a competence certificate if they are applying for a training license? I was told it was to show competence to which i pointed out the actual use of a training license (to gain said competence under the supervision of someone else, namely me).
    • I then asked about the four methods for showing competence and asked why the training license method, as well as the other two, was being ignored for the "easy" route of a competence certificate.
    • I then asked which course An Gardaí certified/approved. I got a puzzled/stupid look from behind the desk to which i elaborated, which course(s) did An Gardai authorise or approve as being adequate? No answer, which was not surprising as they don't do this with any course.

    I took the paperwork back, went home, wrote out all the above and then some and submitted it to the main station. I was called in, with the young lad, for an interview which went well. During the interview i asked the Super about the local station and their demand for a competence certificate. He said "why would you need that, the training license is to gain competence".

    All this is well and good if you're prepared to argue your point. AGS don't care about the stupidity of asking for a competence certificate when the license being applied for, training license, is designed solely for that purpose. To do a competence course for a training license is the definition of redundant and a CYA exercise by AGS.
    OP i would follow Cass's advice however if they ask you to complete a competency course do it makes life easier and you will have it done when time comes to get a full licence ;)

    The outcome of my situation, with the young lad, was he got his training certificate without dong the course.

    To the OP, if you want an "easy" life then by all means do the competence course. Its not required and you don't need to do one, but if you're unsure about arguing the point, or simply don't want to then the competence course is the way to go.

    My point above about it being silly not only applies to AGS' demand for one, but also how does a 14 yr old do a competence course?

    There are currently three types of courses being run:

    The "Kitchen" course : You go to someone's house, they sit you in the kitchen for 30 minutes explaining to you about shotguns and rifles. You never see a gun, handle a gun and from all reports the majority is spent talking about shotguns. It would also be illegal for you to handle one while in someone's house. At the end of the 30 minutes they give you a nice piece of paper, call it a certificate, and print it off then charge you €25 to €30 for the "course".

    The "RFD" course : You go to an RFD, usually a shop, and they show you a few guns, explain the difference between right and wrong and you get a certificate at the end. You never get to shoot a gun, but have the benefit of not breaking the firearms act by possessing/handling a gun without a license as you're in a shop. The course can be 30 to 45 minutes and will cost between €30 to €50.

    The "Proper" course : You go an authorised range. Here they will spend up to 4 hours with you. They will walk you through the various types of guns, how to handle, load, aim, shoot and unload them. You will get to handle guns and shoot them, legally, under section 2(4)(d) of the firearms act. They will also give you a written test and make sure you pass before presenting you with your certificate. When you leave you have a much, MUCH, larger knowledge and understanding of firearms and some ranges even supply a year of insurance with the course fee. Fees run between €50 to €75.

    Out of those three the range course, to me, is the only actual course. However as there is no regulation of these courses, but are mandatory, and AGS will not for love nor money dare endorse or ratify a course their hands are free of blame and liability should someone get a certificate of competence and then go out and injure or kill themselves or someone else.

    Forum Charter - Useful Information - RFDs - Ranges by County - Hunting Laws/Important threads


    If you see a problem post use the report post function, "FLAG" & let a Moderator deal with it.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 436 ✭✭ JP22


    Cass’s answer as always is spot on, to the point and answers the OP’s question better that I could.

    From what I see our current laws & regulations (including many antiquated ones) are not clearly defined enough, there are some grey areas and for the most part they are not fit for purpose in a modern society.

    This in itself is appalling and it ultimately leads to laws/regulations being interpreted in different ways by different people.

    Throw into the equation personnel in authority who are not fully qualified or competent in matters relating to firearms and its legislation and you get what we currently have, a hit and miss affair.

    I am not saying all are bad, some are excellent, it depends on the region you reside in and the personnel you deal with.

    Just my tuppence worth.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26 ✭✭✭ DanielS35


    This is a fantastic answer from Cass indeed.
    Thanks for that as I am looking into target shooting or clay shooting in the area of Fermoy, Tallow, Rathcormac.
    Was there in Fermoy few years back with my mate as both interested but life is life, family, work, time flies...
    I contacted Rathcormac and Fermoy via email but maybe I just need to swing by again and talk.

    I'd be happy to have "proper" course if it would help to start the sport for shotgun or/and rifle. Talking to my wife she also is interested.
    Now with coffeed now it might be different.

    I understand steps are as follows:
    1. Go to the RFD and place deposit -> Receive proof of "purchase".
    2. Get yourself a safe meeting BS 7558? -> Proof of "purchase".
    3. Meet before with local guards and talk to them and find out which is firearms licensing officer.
    4. Fill in FCA1 -> Check with Guards if all ok and just wait.

    Can you tell if I'd like to do clay shooting but no club in the area should the permission from farmer be sufficient enough?

    Found something for a starter and wondering if that would do for "training":
    https://www.irishshootingsports.ie/shooting-range-packages/gold-package/

    Best,
    Dan


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 27,534 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Cass


    DanielS35 wrote: »
    Can you tell if I'd like to do clay shooting but no club in the area should the permission from farmer be sufficient enough?
    Yes.

    You need either, not both (although you can provide both if you have them, and must if you intend to do both).

    With shotguns its a bit of a mess. Shotgun shooting (specifically clays) is not classed as target shooting so membership to a range is not a prerequisite. You can tick clays on the FCA1 without showing membership to a range/club. For rifles/pistols you must.
    Found something for a starter and wondering if that would do for "training":
    https://www.irishshootingsports.ie/shooting-range-packages/gold-package/
    Excuse me for asking, as its not specifically mentioned, but is that a course or simply a "day out". Like a range day.

    One is a bit of fun, and i'd recommend it, the other is a specific course designed to teach you in the practicals of firearm safety and handling. So one might suffice, while the other, not so much.

    However give the range a shout, clarify and then do whichever they recommend.

    Forum Charter - Useful Information - RFDs - Ranges by County - Hunting Laws/Important threads


    If you see a problem post use the report post function, "FLAG" & let a Moderator deal with it.


    Your Shooting Forum Moderators - Cass, Cookimonster, Vegeta, Sparks, It wasn't me!



  • Registered Users Posts: 26 ✭✭✭ DanielS35


    Thanks for prompt reply Cass. Good to know about shotguns vs. rifles.

    It looks like a day out rather than course but couldn't find anything else so I thought it might be good for starters.
    Sure I'd prefer course where someone experienced would explain most important bits and pieces.

    Will talk to them for sure. Cheers!


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  • Registered Users Posts: 225 ✭✭ paulireland


    I went to a trainer the RFD recommended.
    He was very thorougher and gave me a cert at the end the Gardai were happy with
    Mine was for shotgun but he does rifles etc as well


  • Registered Users Posts: 26 ✭✭✭ DanielS35


    Thanks for info. That's another way to go about it. Good to know.


  • Registered Users Posts: 54 ✭✭ Rescueme0007


    I've just had a very similar experience to Cass (very well laid out explanation by him). Despite the fact that I have been legally using full bore firearms since 1977 and have been extensively trained in firearms safety by the PDF, my expertise was not enough.

    To be fair to the Garda I spoke with (the firearms officer) he was just laying out the approach taken by AGS management. Fortunately, the nearest RFD has agreed to facilitate my lad in assessing his current competence and once satisfied to issue the necessary certification. Hopefully, this will facilitate and expedite the issue of the licence, before the current deer hunting season is over, but with AGS one never knows!😔



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