Firearms Act 1964

27

F23 [ Prohibition of use of firearms to assist or aid escape.

27. (1) A person shall not use or produce a firearm or imitation firearm

( a ) for the purpose of or while resisting the arrest of the person or of another person by a member of the Garda S í och á na, or

( b ) for the purpose of aiding, or in the course of, the escape or rescue of the person or of another person from lawful custody.

(2) A person who contravenes subsection (1) of this section is guilty of an offence and 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 or, where subsection (8) of this section applies, to that subsection, and

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

(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 (other than 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.

F24 [ (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 (other than 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 to the person convicted of it, which would make the minimum term unjust in all the circumstances, and for this purpose the court may F25 [ , 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, and

(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) Subsections (4) to (6) of this section apply and have effect only in relation to a person convicted of a first offence under this section (other than a person who falls under subsection (8)( b ) of this section), and accordingly references in those first-mentioned subsections to an offence under this section are to be construed as references to a first such offence.

(8) Where a person (except a person under the age of 18 years)

( a ) is convicted of a second or subsequent offence under this section,

( b ) is convicted of a first offence under this section and has been convicted of an offence under section 15 of the Principal Act, section 26, 27A or 27B of this Act or section 12A of the Firearms and Offensive Weapons Act 1990,

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.

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

Annotations:

Amendments:

F23

Substituted (1.11.2006) by Criminal Justice Act 2006 (26/2006), s. 58, S.I. No. 390 of 2006.

F24

Inserted (18.05.2007) by Criminal Justice Act 2007 (29/2007), s. 37(a), S.I. No. 236 of 2007.

F25

Inserted (18.05.2007) by Criminal Justice Act 2007 (29/2007), s. 37(b), S.I. No. 236 of 2007.

Modifications (not altering text):

C8

Application of section extended (1.06.1976) by Criminal Law (Jurisdiction) Act 1976 (14/1976), s. 2 and sch. para. 11(b), 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

11. Any offence under the following provisions of the Firearms Act, 1964 — ...

(b) section 27 (use of firearms to resist arrest or aid escape);

...

Editorial Notes:

E14

Offences under section designated relevant offences (1.09.2010) by Criminal Procedure Act 2010 (27/2010), s. 7 and sch. para. 18, 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)).

E15

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 para. 5(b), S.I. No. 236 of 2007.

E16

Power of court to make monitoring and protection orders in relation to offence under this section provided (18.05.2007) by Criminal Justice Act 2007 (29/2007), s. 26 and sch. 2 para. 5(b), S.I. No. 236 of 2007.

E17

Offence under section may be an element of terrorist activity as provided (8.07.2005) by Criminal Justice (Terrorist Offences) Act 2005 (2/2005), s. 4 and sch. 2 part 1 para. 9(e), commenced as per s. 2.

E18

Offences under section designated serious offences (4.09.1998 and 15.05.2000) by Bail Act 1997 (16/1997), s. 1 and sch. paras. 15(b), 29 and 30, S.I. No. 315 of 1998 and S.I. No. 118 of 2000.

E19

Certain offences under section committed outside the State not to be regarded as political offences as provided by Extradition (European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism) Act 1987 (1/1987), s. 3(3A) as inserted (22.08.1994) by Extradition (Amendment) Act 1994 (6/1994), s. 2 and sch. 1 para. 9(a), S.I. No. 220 of 1994.

E20

Previous affecting provision: subs. (2) amended (1.06.1976) by Criminal Law (Jurisdiction) Act 1976 (14/1976), s. 21(6)(c), S.I. No. 112 of 1976. Subs. (2) subsequently amended (1.03.1985) by Criminal Justice Act 1984 (22/1984), s. 14(3), S.I. No. 17 of 1985. Section substituted as per F-note above.