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15-05-2015, 11:11   #31
Vegeta
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Originally Posted by Roundpack View Post
The unfounded accusations being thrown around here are disgraceful.
Hey Roundpack, if you see any accusations then please report them and the mod team will delete them.

Saying that, people are allowed to express their opinion on this. If they're for it, if they think it's great or if they think it's a bad thing, in poor taste etc.
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15-05-2015, 11:42   #32
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There was some initial reasonable concern given the current legislative changes. A business being set up to provide training courses right as legislative changes to make more training mandatory are being lobbied for by a small minority was always going to cause those concerns and the lack of details surrounding the affair was always going to exacerbate that. This is Ireland, that's life here. Now that the details are out, I don't think those concerns are as much of a worry as they were.

And as a side note, the way the company was registered was not ever a concern, it's a common way of doing that kind of thing, hundreds of companies have been founded that way, it's a commercial service that's not involved in our sport and that aspect of it is all above board and normal.

I'll refrain from commenting on this specific company if you don't mind. I think you all know my thoughts regarding at least one of its directors. There's not a lot of point in going over that; you have a search function on the board if you're that interested in it.

●●●

I do however, think something stinks about this particular industry in general and here's as good a place to talk about that as any.

First off, the industry is perfectly legal, and was deliberately created by a Minister for Justice. There's no question of illegality or perfidity here. There are those who think it's even beneficial, and in the ideal they have a good point, but in the real world there's this big stinking problem that they're ignoring and it's this:

There is no regulation of firearms training in Ireland.

There's absolutely none. Not one single law, not one single official who oversees it, not one national standard, nothing. Almost everyone and his dog can happily rock up and start a course to train people in how to use firearms (and if you want to see how badly that can go, just google the phrase "Baron Shorttarse"). We all know of RFDs - and we're not going to name them specifically here because the Defamation Act is tiresome at best - who run courses over the course of an hour or less that people then use as proof of competency in licence applications, and we also know of competency courses run by national bodies and by ranges. And, be fair now, some of these are good basic safety courses run by well-meaning competent people. A few of those people even have the kind of training you need to teach something (which is an incredibly different set of training and skills to those you need to do that thing well). And a very very few people in Ireland are actually really good coaches, but they're really in a different industry so I'm not counting them here. I'm thinking of the basic safety/basic instruction field here.

The problem is, while we have a lot of good people trying their best, we have nobody vetting these courses to weed out the chancers setting up courses to make money who aren't actually teaching basic safety well. There's no standards for the courses to meet, no curriculum, no training of the trainers, nothing. There aren't even any consumer rights really, because you can go to person X, pay them for a course, do the course and "pass" it (sorry, but if there's no standard for the course, saying you pass or fail is a meaningless statement, it's like saying you won the race on the M50 on the way to work) -- and then the local Garda Superintendent can say "No, I won't accept this as proof of competence" and you can't get your money back, you can't sue person X for failing to provide the proof of competence you were seeking, you have no recourse at all. This is why we've been saying for years to ask the Super for the course first, which is a bad state of affairs to start with because it results in an effective state-sponsored monopoly in each garda district, but the alternative seemed worse.

Incidentally, yes, there are non-national bodies who will certify courses (you're all thinking of the NRA, but many others do it too, like the NSRA, the UK NRA, the ISSF, and many others, and people have been doing those courses in Ireland for a while now). But those non-national certifications mean absolutely zip in a licence application. The NRA says you're safe? Well that's nice, but unless your local Garda accepts that, it means nothing. And if he or she declines to accept it, then you have no recourse - the lack of standards means the Gardai have no requirement to accept non-national accreditations here.

And this is before you get to the thorny problem of what happens if someone is trained in one of these courses, doesn't learn basic safety but "passes" anyway and then goes on to hurt themselves, or someone else, or worse. Who's legally liable then? And what will the fallout be for the community as a whole?

We got dumped in this appalling situation by a Minister for Justice who, frankly, made a huge mess out of the Ministry he was given and who then just flounced off out of public life completely afterwards, but nobody's ever cleaned up the mess he made. Instead, some (not all) people have been opportunistically profiting off it and exacerbating the situation.

For example, we've been talking here about safety courses and proof of competence as though the former was the sole method to gain the latter; and not only is that not the case, it is deliberately not the case. Courses were never seen as being the norm, they were seen as being one way to provide competence, a new way, brought in alongside the established ways of direct instruction that we'd had since before the founding of the state. There's nothing wrong with having courses, if they're done right, but they were never supposed to take over from everything else, and especially not when they were this unregulated.

And this current push to try to get us to introduce graduated licencing is just going to make things even worse by increasing the demands for proof of competence and creating even more opportunities for commercial exploitation.

So like I said, the industry is perfectly legal. But it stinks. It's not safe, it's not good for the sport, it's not good for those in the sport, and it's only good for a few who are profiting off it. It badly needs regulation and standardisation and groups like FETAC to get involved for that to happen. And absolutely nobody is pushing for that to happen anymore.
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15-05-2015, 12:04   #33
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......It badly needs regulation and standardisation and groups like FETAC to get involved for that to happen. And absolutely nobody is pushing for that to happen anymore.
Why do you think no one is pushing for this to happen, out of interest Sparks ?
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15-05-2015, 12:05   #34
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I think this thread should be removed. I can say with certainty this is not some new idea or anything of the sort. I think it is very unfair to just attack something without knowing anything about it.
Is this not exactly what everyone has been going on about in the other threads splitting the shooting community and turning on each other?
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15-05-2015, 12:17   #35
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It's a big set up. No wonder the NARGC, SC, NASRPC etc are rolling over to the suggestion of a graduated licensing system, training etc. there'll be more of these "academies" on the horizon shortly but only a select few and only if they have the right "connections". Where there's money to be made......... Like flies on a rotting carcass.
It'll be like the "trained hunter" fiasco , all sown up by a cosy cartel at the top with influential friends.


A training company has been set up. All totally legal.

Why have you a problem with that?

Is training not good for the sport?

Likening lads setting up a training company to flies on a rotting carcass is scandalous to be honest.
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15-05-2015, 13:23   #36
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We got dumped in this appalling situation by a Minister for Justice who, frankly, made a huge mess out of the Ministry he was given and who then just flounced off out of public life completely afterwards, but nobody's ever cleaned up the mess he made. Instead, some (not all) people have been opportunistically profiting off it and exacerbating the situation.
Nail on head....And this is another reason this new legislation will not be rushed according to the chairman of the Dail comittee.They have seen what an appaling mess this is and for once want to do it "right"[right being a debateable point in all our eyes.]

As to this company and current situation. I'm on the fence now.As I feel its too early to make a judgement call on any and all info at the current time.

I've no problem with someone setting up this company or courses,I know one of the directors and he is more than competant.However it feels a tad bit like "insider tradeing" as in do they know something we all dont know and have an insight on the shape of things to come,that the entire legislation will be reworked to bring it up to a EU harmonisation level?[No doubt without any of the benefits or freedoms our EU neighbours enjoy?Being the pessimist that I am]
Or is this just a case of registering a company name just to have it "in case" something changes?As we havent seen any litature,courses ,or advertising we cant say whether this company will ever go live and trade or just be a registerd paper company to two shooters?

Sparks makes the very valid points that at the moment its unnecessary under our legislation and there are no standards set,as of yet.... HOWEVER I dont think anyone would disagree that for total and utter newbies coming into the sport who might pass under the current AGS system but have hardly if ever handled a gun some sort of basic firearms saftey course wouldnt be a bad idea??

Commercial Vs State courses?
Anywhere else in the EU the state mandates what the course must cover by the legislation relation to firearms and self defenceand then lets qualified individuals or companies teach it at whatever price they see fit so long as the states fees are coverd.
Well and good and IF this is the shape of things to come,and IF this is not going to become a monopoly like important things in Ireland [Irish Water,NCT,HCAP to name a few] and anyone can qualify to teach this course once passing the instruction qualifications then maybe its fine.

If the Irish state gets involved in teaching this....Well,we can see going by the liscensing situation how effective and unbiased,cheap and simple that would be.

Bottom line is ; We dont know yet why these two lads bought this company and its intent.Or if it will ever trade..In fact we know nothing about it bar its directors names .And its address....
We still dont know what the legislation will be yet and whether this will be a help or hinderance to have a company or companies doing this.
Finally would it better for "our own" to be involved in teaching a course and habing an input into it rather than A Tidworth[ beuracrat] setting the course syllabus and grading it who has never seen a gun or even knows a thing about them?
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15-05-2015, 13:45   #37
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Why do you think no one is pushing for this to happen, out of interest Sparks ?
I don't think there's any one answer there to be fair. It's a cross-discipline thing that needs cross-discipline support and frankly, some disciplines have burned others so much that getting cross-discipline trust to do this is just not going to happen until there's been generational changes.
There's also the point that a lot of NGBs just focus on their own thing because of this and don't see the overall thing as being within their bailiwick. And some of the groups that claim it as their bailiwick are (a) part of the problem and (b) not people you'd trust to do a competent job and (c) have no claim on the problem in the first place.
Also, this is the kind of thing that requires law; and changing the Firearms Act to introduce this sort of thing is such a difficult task, so prone to backfiring and doing more harm than good, that people are very, very, very reticent about the idea - and they're right to be.
It's one of those problems that just doesn't have a nice solution, and doing nothing is seen as a valid approach to it. It's just that it's not a risk-free, cost-free approach.
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15-05-2015, 13:59   #38
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Why have you a problem with that?
Is training not good for the sport?
As mentioned above, just because something is legal and sounds like a good idea doesn't mean it's good for the sport, even in the absence of perfidity.

As to the negative comments above, they're fair.
Allegations wouldn't be; if you see any, report them and they'll be deleted (some already have been).

There are two reasons why they're fair:
  • People have a past history with the people involved in the area of training and have negative opinions as a result. I'm not talking about me, by the way. How valid those opinions are today, I don't know and don't care to get into that. But if we banned everyone who had an opinion we didn't care for, this place would be a lot smaller and a lot quieter and we'd have more time for pints, so please stop tempting us
  • To call this a sensitive time for shooting sports in Ireland is to understate things to the point of absurdity. We haven't faced a situation this delicate in decades, with potential outcomes that could be highly destructive to our sports, even rendering many of them untenable or just plain extinct. If you're launching a company in such a timeframe, PR is a part of the process. If you think that launching a training company from a location that could be readily associated with some people who are lobbying for increased mandatory training and you don't do that PR, well, this thread is the kind of thing that happens because reasonable people ask genuine questions. It's unfortunate, not fatal, and no perfidity is involved on either side. And frankly, if you were to go googling the company as a non-shooter, this thread is not one of the results any investor would worry about. The Streisand effect is happening here.



TL;DR: someone screwed up their PR, people asked valid questions, stuff has been answered, nothing illegal is going on, that topic is pretty much done. Some people won't think much of this company, some will. That's also perfectly valid. There's a wider topic here that's worth talking about; you can do so if you wish.
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15-05-2015, 14:16   #39
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I dont think anyone would disagree that for total and utter newbies coming into the sport who might pass under the current AGS system but have hardly if ever handled a gun some sort of basic firearms saftey course wouldnt be a bad idea?
Well, I would.
We've been around for almost 170 years (and in reality we've probably been here longer, we just don't have the records to prove it). We've had safety courses for about ten years. Where are all the mass casualties caused by not having safety courses?

Safety training, on the other hand, we've had for 170 years. We just did it as part of the course of things. We didn't outsource it to run-for-profit private companies until very very recently, and frankly, they're the worryingly unproven risky alternative. A half-hour course is not going to be a valid replacement for one-to-one hands-on instruction like you get in most clubs.
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15-05-2015, 14:29   #40
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Fortuneatly or un fortuneatly depending on your perspective we didnt have a nanny statism and utter paranoia attitude about inanimate objects for 170 years either.Now unfortuneatly we do have this kind of attitude that everything no matter how much to the contary is proven,is utterly dangerous to life and limb and must be made safer,somehow..so no matter how safe we are some bright spark will say it must be made safer...Plus how is it safe to say just because you own land ,arent a criminal,and arent a nutter you can go and purchase a firearm for shooting vermin and then toddle off and store it in your barn,or store it loaded beside the back door?In theory thats how easy it is to liscense a gun here of a certain type.And in the process violates numerous saftey rules as well,but because there is no basic saftey training here or we have numerous guns stolen in this exact situation..Im not suggesting a lengthy 14 week course stuffed with padding to "justify" its prohibitive cost.If the US NRA can do a concealed carry permit within 8 hours in most states with acceptable results and no massacres and blood baths on the streets.I'm sure we could devise somthing simmilar that checks you out for all three gun types within the same time period?
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15-05-2015, 14:34   #41
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If the US NRA can do a concealed carry permit within 8 hours in most states with acceptable results and no massacres and blood baths on the streets.
Could you find a better example, please???

And yes, there are ways to standardise courses and do things right, and that's done for many, many other things today, but it takes effort and support to do that and we have neither in play at the moment.

Right now, you tell me you were a DURC member for a year, I'm going to have a lot more faith in how safe you are on a range than if you tell me you did some six-hour accredited course with someone. The club training really is that much better.
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15-05-2015, 14:41   #42
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Post #32 clears up a lot of misconceptions for me. Thanks.

And this, too, thanks to Grizzly_45 in post #36 -

Quote - Commercial Vs State courses?
Anywhere else in the EU the state mandates what the course must cover by the legislation relation to firearms and self defenceand then lets qualified individuals or companies teach it at whatever price they see fit so long as the states fees are coverd.
Well and good and IF this is the shape of things to come,and IF this is not going to become a monopoly like important things in Ireland [Irish Water,NCT,HCAP to name a few] and anyone can qualify to teach this course once passing the instruction qualifications then maybe its fine.
Firearms training occupies WEEKS, not a few hours, in the military. End Quote.

Instinctively thinking 'SAFE' with a gun in your hands takes WEEKS, not hours, to build in to the noob.

'What do I do next when it goes wrong? actions takes days or WEEKS to instil in the noob, not hours.

How on earth is an organisation going to 'train' total novices in firearms to be 'experts' in handling firearms safely and competently without taking days or weeks to do it?

Experience cannot be taught, it must be gained by experience.

Some may have a cackle here - again at my expense - [Jeez not that old f*rt tac again with his annoying posts] but the way that 'things are done' in other countries is not a reflection on the inadequacies of the Irish system [if that's the right word to use in the near-total absence of an 'Irish system']. The way we do things in UK or Germany or Canada is not set up to make Ireland look inadequate. TBH, people in the UK, Germany or Canada don't really give a hoot how you do things, so long as you don't come over to Bisley or Connaught and make total dwongs of yourselves whilst in charge of lethal firearms.

Shooting organisations in the UK, Germany and Canada have a legally-documented and government-instigated duty of care to their members as well as the general public with whom they interface. As such these countries have formalised and documented programmes of practical and classroom instruction on the way that they deal with and handle firearms that are compulsory requirements BEFORE you can apply for a gun license. As I've mentioned before, in UK that involves six months hands-on use of every single kind of firearm that you can legally lay your hands on, in a club environment. In the field, it means the same amount of time with a mentor.

What is so wrong with adopting one of their methods in Ireland?

Does Ireland always have to go its own way, this time with the added confusion of having non-regulated, non-standardised degrees of 'competence training' that may or may not be accepted by your licensing authorities depending on an opinion?

tac
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15-05-2015, 14:46   #43
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What is so wrong with adopting one of their methods in Ireland?
Because that's all we'd adopt. One of their methods. Without the entire surrounding ecosystem and experience and history of those methods. Cargo cult adoption of things that way doesn't tend to work.
You'd have to do a lot more than just swipe one thing. Then it might work; but you'd be long past a simple fix by then.
edit: It's not that those methods are bad; it's that we wouldn't adopt them properly.

Last edited by Sparks; 15-05-2015 at 14:56.
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15-05-2015, 14:51   #44
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I give up.

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15-05-2015, 14:52   #45
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It's hard enough to get people into the sport as it is with all the regulations etc. without adding a new clause of 'we'll have our hand up your ass like a glove puppet for 6 months before you can shoot alone' to the list.

I've seen people hear what licencing etc. entails now and go 'Ah I couldn't be bothered', so adding the above in definitely wouldn't help boost the numbers. I know it would have put me right off.

I'm not saying it doesn't work in the UK, clearly it does but if it was implemented here you'd have the same situation you have now only with it now being six months longer i.e. you join a club, do your 6 months, go to licence a pistol etc. only to be told 'No, we're not licencing pistols.' or such. The whole structure of the licencing system would have to be adopted from the UK or wherever we base it on, not a half and half job where all of our side is structured but the Gardai can still decide at the drop of a hat 'Not in my district'.

That's the problem with a lot of things here, we adopt 'X' because it works in another country but not 'Y' and 'Z' which actually make 'X' a success.

Last edited by Witcher; 15-05-2015 at 15:26.
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