Ireland facing infringement proceedings over transposition of EU firearms directive
The European Commission has launched infringement proceedings against Ireland for failing to transpose the revised EU firearms directive into domestic law, according to reports.
The directive, originally introduced in 1991 and revised in 2008, was revised again in 2017 in the wake of the terrorist gun attack on the Bataclan nightclub in Paris in 2015.
The 2017 revisions make it harder to legally acquire certain high capacity weapons, such as automatic firearms transformed into semi-automatics. It also improves the exchange of information between EU countries and improves the tracking of legally held firearms.
According to The Sunday Times, the European Commission has written to Ireland to confirm that the infringement process have begun.
A briefing paper prepared for Justice Minister Helen McEntee advises that the procedure “could give rise to very significant fines for Ireland if the matter is not progressed”, the newspaper reports.
The briefing paper reveals that the delay in transposing the directive is at least partly because the governemnt has not yet secured agreement from An Garda Síochána to “undertake data-filing functions and to act as ‘alarm and signal’ national focal points”.
The Department is “working with An Garda Siochana to fully consider all the issues involved and to progress the matter as quickly as possible, with a view to the appointment of a national focal point”.