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The future for Northern Ireland firearms laws?

  • 22-03-2023 3:08pm
    Registered Users Posts: 230 ✭✭

    Without getting into the politics of a United Ireland or the probability of it happening, I’d like to hear the boards thoughts on what could happen to law abiding gun owners.

    Obviously, NI has some distinct differences compared to Ireland/England/Wales/Scotland, namely the ability to own centrefire handguns for sporting use. It would seem very costly, both in ‘buybacks’ and manpower to switch NI over to ROI gun laws.

    So, in a UI what do you think would happen to handgun owners? Do you think pistols would be grandfathered in, and stopping all new purchases? Complete ban on centrefire pistols like ROI?

    Would our laws get Loosened to allow CF handguns and practical shooting?

    Post edited by cosieman on


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 1,439 Mod ✭✭✭✭otmmyboy2

    I suspect most non critical NI and RoI laws wouldn't be harmonized for a while, and as such things would remain the same on both sides of the border.

    At a certain stage though RoI laws would be spread to NI, with the grandfathering of CF handguns, practical shooting, restricting reloading etc.

    I cannot see politicians or the permanent government here being OK with NI firearms laws vs ours. Hell as it is they are pushing for ours to become even more restrictive, so you can see how they would view the extra 100,000 gun owners from NI.

    Never forget, the end goal is zero firearms of any type.

    S.I. No. 187/1972 - Firearms (Temporary Custody) Order - Firearms seized

    S.I. No. 21/2008 - Firearms (Restricted Firearms and Ammunition) Order 2008 - Firearm types restricted

    Criminal Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009 - Firearms banned & grandfathered

    S.I. No. 420/2019 - Magazine ban, ammo storage & transport restricted

    Criminal Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2023 - 2023 Firearm Ban (retroactive to 8 years prior)

  • Registered Users Posts: 927 ✭✭✭freddieot

    As per the OP' comment, I don't want to open the door on the political issues \ side of this but if it ever does come to pass that it happens then my 'guess' is as follows. Keep in mind I don't advocate any of this to happen, but experience etc. :-

    Grandfathering of all CF handgun licenses in existence in NI on a particular date (probably the date ROI and NI join as one state officially). No further CF handgun license applications allowed in NI. This would be done far more transparently than the usual craic down here with an announcement of when that future date would be. Effectively allowing people to apply before that date (maybe a month) if they wanted one. No applications allowed from the ROI at any stage, in conformity with existing law. That way, no buy backs and no 'nobody told me' as regards NI and also no jumping on the band wagon in ROI.

    Complete ban on all Practical Shooting Sports (handgun, Rifle and Shotgun). Complete ban on all Cowboy Shooting and other 'dynamic' disciplines. This would obviously upset a lot of people but that will be a drop in the ocean to the political upset in general of course, so the PTW will not give a damn.

    Rimfire might be more positive. ROI laws on 5 shot handgun magazines changed to all up to 10 (handgun or rifle). Restricted cert if you want more. No more nonsense of the 'looks like ' an AR variety. Much easier to get AR or G36 \ MP5 style 22s for example. Basically, a light loosening to of the rules to conform with the UK (NI) scenario.

    A sweeping change to our system to allow something similar to the licensing process \ system in the UK. I've always found the NI system to be far more efficient. I doubt there is major confusion in their official ranks regarding NV for example. I doubt our Northern friends would tolerate the system we have here so politically the (new) State could cancel any issues before they start by altering the process.

    They might also use the opportunity to tighten other regs.

    Guys, I hope I'm wrong. I'd love to be picking out a new HK VP9 or something like that if things go a better way. However, I doubt it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,952 ✭✭✭✭Grizzly 45

    Unfortunatly politics are connected.

    First off; WHO will be the new police force for the 32-county "united" Ireland?Will it be unarmed or armed?THAT will be a major question and decider on anything firearms related. It will certainly NOT be an Garda Siochanna as we know them now as the RUC went into history to become the PSNI,so too will AGS have to exit the stage due to its historical baggage and associations with the historical past.If it were to be an armed police force appx 75% of the current force would resign immediately, and unarmed it will be just a laughed at by the armed Narco groups up there posing as "freedom fighters"on both sides.

    2] As N Ireland has concealed carry permits with certain people and for a very good reason too on both sides of the community,how will the Irish Govt square this one?

    Just because we all had a nice signed treaty, the British army and admin sailed off back to England and we had a grand pissup and sang the "Four green fields" and" a nation once again" for weeks on end. Doesn't mean this is all over and brotherly love breaks out between the hardliners and the headbangers wanting to even the scores,be they personal or whatever,or just plain not accepting that it's all over and their power is waning in their community. So is the new police force of Ireland going to post an armed officer with every former British judge, army officer, ex-UDA, former UK tetorrial officer and enlisted man, etc, etc, living in the 6 counties?

    We have just recently seen that there are some in whatever version of the IRA who are still willing to kill police officers just this month. So will this new police force provide armed protection or just leave these people still at risk to keep their sidearms? That then means why is their life more important than yours or mine down in the 26 and why are they entitled to a concealed carry permit and CF pistol and you and I are not? We are supposedly equal under the law of the land.

    As NI has more registered firearms per person than we have down here and they have seen the utter disasters our Irish Govt has made of legislation, for 35 years and current, you can expect much stiffer resistance from NI gun owners to any sort of hamfisted Dublin meddling.

    Also, you can be sure if any Dublin legislation came in restricting or banning a certain type of firearm or sports discipline.This would trigger off the Loyalists of the extreme type saying "See told ya! They are disarming us so they can oppress us more easily! Same as the Nazis did to the Jews!!!" And off we go again with the new troubles. Don't forget they have still plenty of non-decommissioned stuff hidden away for such an event,are very capable of building their own SMGs, still have contacts to arms dealers and whatnot and with no border are quite capable of doing some mischief down in Dublin or Cork as much as anywhere else in the new united Ireland. that would mean former PIRA or SF members down South could consider themselves legit targets too.

    Also,you can be dammed sure that any NI politicians,now in the Dail,will be a lot more bloody-minded and obstinate on an issue like that than our shower could contemplate.

    This might look like a trivial issue in the big picture of politics of a united Ireland, but if Dublin and the AGS think this would be a simple job of enforcing Irish firearms laws up there, they would have another think coming. The NI gun owner is a very different breed to us down here.

    "If you want to keep someone away from your house, Just fire the shotgun through the door."

    Vice President [and former lawyer] Joe Biden Field& Stream Magazine interview Feb 2013 "

  • Registered Users Posts: 875 ✭✭✭zeissman

    No need to worry about it, It will never happen.