Firearms Act 1925

15

F69[Possession of firearms with intent to endanger life.

15. (1) Any person who possesses or controls any firearm or ammunition

(a) with intent to endanger life or cause serious injury to property, or

(b) with intent to enable any other person by means of the firearm or ammunition to endanger life or cause serious injury to property,

shall, whether any injury to person or property has or has not been caused thereby, be guilty of an offence.

(2) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on conviction on indictment

(a) to imprisonment for life or such shorter term as the court may determine, subject to subsections (4) to (6) of this section F70[], and

(b) at the courts discretion, to a fine of such amount as the court considers appropriate,

and the firearm or ammunition concerned shall be forfeited.

(3) The court, in imposing sentence on a person for an offence under this section, may, in particular, have regard to whether the person has a previous conviction for an offence under the Firearms Acts 1925 to 2006, the Offences against the State Acts 1939 to 1998 or the Criminal Justice (Terrorist Offences) Act 2005.

(4) Where a person (except a person under the age of 18 years) is convicted of an offence under this section, the court shall, in imposing sentence, specify a term of imprisonment of not less than 10 years as the minimum term of imprisonment to be served by the person.

F71[(4A) The purpose of subsections (5) and (6) of this section is to provide that in view of the harm caused to society by the unlawful possession and use of firearms, a court, in imposing sentence on a person (except a person under the age of 18 years) for an offence under this section, shall specify as the minimum term of imprisonment to be served by the person a term of not less than 10 years, unless the court determines that by reason of exceptional and specific circumstances relating to the offence, or the person convicted of it, it would be unjust in all the circumstances to do so.]

(5) Subsection (4) of this section does not apply where the court is satisfied that there are exceptional and specific circumstances relating to the offence, or the person convicted of it, which would make a sentence of imprisonment of not less than 10 years unjust in all the circumstances, and for this purpose the court may F72[, subject to subsection (6),] have regard to any matters it considers appropriate, including

(a) whether the person pleaded guilty to the offence and, if so

(i) the stage at which the intention to plead guilty was indicated,

(ii) the circumstances in which the indication was given,

and

(b) whether the person materially assisted in the investigation of the offence.

(6) The court, in considering for the purposes of subsection (5) of this section whether a sentence of not less than 10 years imprisonment is unjust in all the circumstances, may have regard, in particular, to

(a) whether the person convicted of the offence has a previous conviction for an offence under the Firearms Acts 1925 to 2006, the Offences Against the State Acts 1939 to 1998 or the Criminal Justice (Terrorist Offences) Act 2005, and

(b) whether the public interest in preventing the unlawful possession or use of firearms would be served by the imposition of a lesser sentence.

(7) F70[]

(8) F70[]

(9) Section 27C of the Firearms Act 1964 applies in relation to proceedings for an offence under this section and to any minimum term of imprisonment imposed under subsection (4) or (8) of this section in those proceedings.]

Annotations

Amendments:

F69

Substituted (1.11.2006) by Criminal Justice Act 2006 (26/2006), s. 42, S.I. No. 390 of 2006.

F70

Deleted (27.12.2021) by Criminal Justice (Amendment) Act 2021 (36/2021), s. 4(a)-(c), S.I. No. 777 of 2021, subject to retrospective application by s. 10, see C-note below.

F71

Inserted (18.05.2007) by Criminal Justice Act 2007 (29/2007), s. 35(a) S.I. No. 236 of 2007.

F72

Inserted (18.05.2007) by Criminal Justice Act 2007 (29/2007), s. 35(b) S.I. No. 236 of 2007.

Modifications (not altering text):

C14

Deletion of subs. (8) applied with retrosopective effect (27.12.2021) by Criminal Justice (Amendment) Act 2021 (36/2021), s. 10, S.I. No. 777 of 2021.

Retrospective application of certain amendments

10. (1) Subject to subsection (2), the amendments effected by this Act (other than those effected by subparagraphs (i) and (iii) of section 5 (c) and by section 6 ) shall apply in respect of a relevant offence committed before the date of the coming into operation of this Act, including a relevant offence in respect of which proceedings had commenced before that date.

(2) Subsection (1) shall not apply in respect of a relevant offence committed prior to the date of the coming into operation of this Act where final judgment was given before that date in the proceedings in respect of the relevant offence.

(3) In this section “relevant offence” means— ...

(d) an offence to which section 15 (8) of the Firearms Act 1925 applied, immediately before its repeal by section 4 (b),

...

C15

Application of section extended (1.06.1976) by Criminal Law (Jurisdiction) Act 1976 (14/1976), s. 2 and sch., S.I. No. 112 of 1976.

Offences committed in Northern Ireland and related offences committed in State.

2.—(1) Where a person does in Northern Ireland an act that, if done in the State, would constitute an offence specified in the Schedule, he shall be guilty of an offence and he shall be liable on conviction on indictment to the penalty to which he would have been liable if he had done the act in the State.

...

SCHEDULE

...

10. Any offence under section 15 of the Firearms Act, 1925 (possessing firearm or ammunition with intent to endanger life or cause serious injury to property).

...

C16

Application of section confirmed (20.07.1971) by Firearms Act 1971 (13/1971), s. 4, commenced as per s. 7(4).

Application of section 15 of Principal Act.

4.—For the removal of doubt it is hereby declared that in section 15 of the Principal Act references to life and property include references to life and property outside the area of application of the laws enacted by the Oireachtas.

Editorial Notes:

E39

Offences under section designated relevant offences (1.09.2010) by Criminal Procedure Act 2010 (27/2010), s. 7 and sch. para. 17, S.I. No. 414 of 2010, for purposes of Part 3 of that Act (exceptions to rule against double jeopardy, including application for retrial order (ss. 8-14) and approval of District Court for exercise of certain powers relating to persons acquitted of relevant offences (ss. 15-18)).

E40

Minimum sentence for offences under section committed under certain circumstances provided (18.05.2007) by Criminal Justice Act 2007 (29/2007), s. 25 and sch. 2 no. 4, S.I. No. 236 of 2007.

E41

Power of court to make monitoring order in relation to offence under this section provided (18.05.2007) by Criminal Justice Act 2007 (29/2007), s. 26, S.I. No. 236 of 2007.

E42

Powers and periods of detention in relation to offence under this section provided (18.05.2007) by Criminal Justice Act 2007 (29/2007), s. 50, S.I. No. 236 of 2007.

E43

Offences under section designated serious offences (4.09.1998) by Bail Act 1997 (16/1997), s. 1 and sch. paras. 14(e), 29 and 30, S.I. No. 315 of 1998, as para. 14 substituted (18.05.2007) by Criminal Justice Act 2007 (29/2007), s. 17(a), S.I. No. 236 of 2007.

E44

Previous affecting provisions: section amended (1.06.1976) by Criminal Law (Jurisdiction) Act 1976 (14/1976), s. 21(4) (S.I. No. 112 of 1976), as amended (1.03.1985) by Criminal Justice Act 1984 (22/1984), s. 14 (S.I. No. 17 of 1985), and (3.09.1998) by Offences Against the State (Amendment) Act 1998 (39/1998), s. 15, commenced on enactment.