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Limerick Solicitor equating AirSoft with actual Air rifle!

  • 17-04-2023 4:04pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 16,418 ✭✭✭✭


    In a Limerick court last week, a Farmer up on unlawful possession of a firearm charge after being found with an air rifle that was found to be firing at 13.7 joules.


    The Solicitor has claimed he bought it in a shop in the city and that they were being sold openly.

    “Air rifles are possessed by thousands upon thousands of people. One joule is the limit. He is aware of that now. He only used it to shoot vermin,” said Mr O’Donnell.

    Now the limit for an Airsoft gun is 1joule. Further, an Airsoft gun can't fire metal pellets and certainly can't be used for vermin control.

    I'm saddened to see this type of excuse bandied and accepted in court. Not disputing that the farmer in question may have had a legitimate reason for owning an air rifle, but equating an air rifle with Airsoft gear is ridiculous. Surely it is incumbent on the court and indeed the Gardaí involved to address the notion that there are 0000's of unlicensed firearms in the country.



Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 924 ✭✭✭freddieot


    The limit for airsoft is one joule. One wonders though how this is enforced.

    I suspect the main retailers either order their stock at one joule or make some alteration when they get a delivery.

    However, what about individuals bringing them in here privately. No checks on those. Maybe there are considerable numbers that exceed one joule and should technically actually be licensed.

    Something else maybe for a committee to look at to keep us all that bit safer. Forget about the criminal gangs with their sub machine guns and concentrate on the real problems of airsoft, military looking 22s, lunatics with more than 5 rounds in their 22 revolvers and the unprecedented growth in 'evil black guns'.



  • Registered Users Posts: 14,945 ✭✭✭✭Grizzly 45


    I'd love to know which shops are selling air rifles over the counter in Limerick in the thousands. As we don't even have a gunshop in Limerick city these days. Croom,Nenagh or Ennis are your choices for an in-the-flesh gun store.We don't even have an airsoft shop either anymore either.

    Either this was a very smart solicitor that he managed to fudge the issue in the mind of the judge or was counting on neither the judge nor the Garda in question doing his homework on the topic of airsoft Vs real "firearms". This is going to show up more and more as people move to Ireland and bring in stuff either for sale or for personal use that is perfectly legal and obtainable in the rest of the union over the counter but is either prohibited here or licensed. Maybe our committee of experts and Govt and Gardai should start looking at not making less lethal items and gimmicky knives and medieval weaponry legal for all 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: 38,979 ✭✭✭✭Mellor


    The limit also applies to air-rifles not only airsoft guns.

    The solicitor was technically correct the limit is 1joule. Metal pellets or other wise are irrelevant. This was above that do became an unlicensed air rifle. It also most certainly wasn’t an airsoft toy.

    He had the air-rifle for a number of years. He possibly bought it OTC years ago before the law changed. Or when retailers were playing a little loose with requirements.



  • Registered Users Posts: 16,418 ✭✭✭✭banie01


    I bought my 1st air rifle in Limerick in the Gun shop on Mary St, long gone now.

    In the early 90's, BSA meteor that required a rifle license.

    The 1joule limit was introduced in the 2006 act to allow Airsoft to be played in Ireland without a need to license every piece of equipment. Prior to the introduction of the 1joule limit? Everything that fired a projectile from a barrel technically needed to be licensed AFAICR. Prior to the 2006 act even sub 1 joule Airsoft guns needed to be licensed(happy to be corrected tho).

    At no point in all the time that an actual air rifle could be bought in Limerick in either the Mary St shop mentioned or in Nestor's sports when it was trading could an air rifle be purchased without a license.



  • Registered Users Posts: 14,945 ✭✭✭✭Grizzly 45


    Derreck Kearneys fruit&veg,guns&ammo.🤣

    Yeah remember it well.Indeed there has been no time FIK since 1925 that air or gas powered guns have been a free ticket item in Ireland.You are correct on the airsoft being liscensed too.Remember a martial arts shop up around Trinity college area if I remember, had them in the late 80s in Dublin.They were the good Toko Mauri models too.AGS raided them and charged the shop with supplying firearms without a liscense.Was around 1987.So yes back then airsoft was an on ticket item back then.

    "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 "



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  • Registered Users Posts: 16,418 ✭✭✭✭banie01


    That's the one and thanks for confirming my recollection on Airsoft needing a ticket pre 2006.

    On the one hand I suppose we can be happy that the District Court's don't set precedence. On the other, the solicitor for the defence played fast and loose with the notion that air rifles are or were sold OTC in Ireland and indeed that an Air rifle and Airsoft are interchangeable and shur the boyo didn't know because he was in a shop full of tacticool toys.

    I really think whomever was in court for the guards dropped the ball on allowing the defence argument to stand.

    I'm not saying the lad in question deserved a stiffer sentence, rather, that the facts matter and there's a lack of them in his defence.



  • Registered Users Posts: 38,979 ✭✭✭✭Mellor


    I'm aware that under the letter of the law that is correct. That anything that fired a projectile was a firearm. But in practice, that's not really how it worked right?. Go into any toy shop prior to 2006 and you'd find toy gun that fired rubber bullets, rubber darts, etc. There were air rifles and pistols at fairgrounds. Thinking of the likes of the below air pistol that was more a toy that firearms. I'm not saying that were openly sold legally, but I'm sure there more than a few appearing for sale under the counter.

    The rifle in the OP case is low-ish powered. Though likely more of a real air-rifle that a toy. I do not that it would be under the air rifle limit in the UK. Maybe he didn't buy it in limerick after all 😉




  • Registered Users Posts: 243 ✭✭dalalada


    On the history of firearm laws here what was the law in early 20th and 19th century or a link to such laws?



  • Registered Users Posts: 14,945 ✭✭✭✭Grizzly 45


    1925 \27firearms act already mentions them.So they have been on the books since the states foundations.

    "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: 14,945 ✭✭✭✭Grizzly 45


    You can still buy any toy post 06 that fires one joule of power.Its more the nanny society that thinksby banning anything gun shaped from the little innocent darlings will make the world a safer place.🙄

    You can still have airguns at fairs.But its the insurance that s rews them on that one too.Insurance sees "firearms"at a public gathering...

    We can only speculate what exactly this was as there is zero info or pic on the make and type of "airgun" involved. But by and large it sounds like an airsoft in some shape or form.

    "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 "



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  • Registered Users Posts: 38,979 ✭✭✭✭Mellor


    I know very little about airsoft. But I’d assume the power rating quoted is far beyond the capabilities of airsoft. Not particularly high powered for an air rifle. I believe it would be under the UK limit.



  • Registered Users Posts: 14,945 ✭✭✭✭Grizzly 45


    www.gov.ie/en/publication/31d35-firearms-your-questions-answered/#:~:text=Legality%20of%20airsoft%20imitation%20firearms,to%20have%20a%20firearms%20certificate.

    Legality of airsoft imitation firearms and other realistic replicas

    Airsoft imitation firearms with a muzzle energy of under 1 joule are not classed as firearms under the law and do not need to have a firearms certificate

    "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: 38,979 ✭✭✭✭Mellor


    Sorry I’m not following. I know the legal limit for airsoft is 1j. But I don’t see how that’s relates to the OP.

    I was specifically talking about “it sounds like an airsoft in some shape or form”. I don’t imagine airsoft toys (in places without a 1j limit) are remotely close to that.



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