Criminal Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009

40.

New sections 9A to 9I of Act of 1990.

40.— The Act of 1990 is amended by the insertion of the following sections after section 9 (as amended by section 39 of this Act):

“Possession of a realistic imitation firearm in a public place.

9A.— (1) Where a person, without lawful authority or reasonable excuse (the onus of proving which shall lie on him or her), has a realistic imitation firearm with him or her in any public place, that person shall be guilty of an offence.

(2) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable:

(i) on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding €5,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twelve months or to both, or

(ii) on conviction on indictment, to a fine or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or to both.

(3) In this section “public place” includes any highway and any other premises or place to which at the material time the public have or are permitted to have access, whether on payment or otherwise, and includes any club premises and any train, vessel or vehicle used for the carriage of persons for reward.

(4) In this section and in sections 9B to 9G “realistic imitation firearm” means a device that appears to the ordinary observer so realistic as to make it indistinguishable from a firearm.

Authorisation of use of realistic imitation firearms at specified venues, theatres, etc.

9B.— (1) The Superintendent of any district may authorise in writing the possession, use or carriage of realistic imitation firearms in that district at a specified location during such period, not exceeding one year, as may be specified in the authorisation.

(2) A Superintendent shall not grant an authorisation under this section unless he or she is satisfied having regard to all the circumstances (including the provision made or to be made for the storage of realistic imitation firearms to which the authorisation (if granted) would relate and the supervision of their use) that the possession, use or carriage, as the case may be, of realistic imitation firearms in pursuance of the authorisation will not endanger the public safety or the peace.

(3) Where it is proposed to grant an authorisation under this section in respect of a specified location, the authorisation shall be granted to the person in charge of the specified location and where there is a contravention of a condition imposed in relation to the grant of such an authorisation and the contravention is proved to have been committed with the consent or approval of or to have been facilitated by any neglect on the part of the person to whom the authorisation is granted, that person shall be guilty of an offence under this Act.

(4) A Superintendent may impose in relation to the grant of an authorisation under this section such conditions (if any) as he considers necessary to prevent danger to the public and, where a condition is imposed, it shall be specified in the authorisation.

(5) An authorisation under this section may be revoked at any time by the Superintendent of the District in which it is granted.

(6) A person who contravenes a condition imposed in relation to the grant of an authorisation under this section shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine of up to €5,000 or up to 12 months imprisonment.

Register of dealers in realistic imitation firearms to be kept.

9C.— (1) The Minister shall cause a register of dealers in realistic imitation firearms to be established and kept.

(2) Any person who—

( a) applies, in accordance with the provisions of this section, to be registered in the register of dealers in realistic imitation firearms,

( b) pays the fee, if any, prescribed by regulations made by the Minister under this section, and

( c) satisfies the Minister that he or she is immediately about to carry on business as a dealer in realistic imitation firearms in premises suitable for that business,

may be registered in such register, but when considering any such application for registration the Minister shall have regard to the character of the applicant, and generally to the public safety and the preservation of the peace.

(3) The registration of a person in the register of dealers in realistic imitation firearms shall continue in force for a period of 3 years from the date of the registration, unless previously revoked and, if renewed, for a further period of 3 years from the expiration of that period or, as the case may be, of any subsequent such period for which the registration was renewed.

(4) Every registered dealer in realistic imitation firearms shall be entitled to renew his or her registration in the register of dealers in realistic imitation firearms at any time within one month before the expiration of his existing registration or renewal on application therefor in accordance with the provisions of this section and payment of the fee, if any, prescribed by regulations made by the Minister under this section.

(5) Every application for registration in the register of dealers in realistic imitation firearms or for renewal of such registration shall be made to the Minister in the form and manner prescribed by regulations made by the Minister under this section and shall contain the prescribed particulars (if any) so prescribed.

(6) Every person registered in the register of dealers in realistic imitation firearms shall be entitled on such registration and on every renewal thereof to obtain from the Minister a certificate in writing of such registration or renewal.

(7) An application for registration in the register of dealers in realistic firearms dealers or for renewal of such registration shall be refused if granting it would, in the opinion of the Minister, prejudice public safety or security.

(8) The Minister, after consultation with the Commissioner, may by regulations specify minimum standards to be complied with in relation to premises in which a dealer in realistic imitation firearms carries on business or proposes to do so.

(9) The minimum standards shall be determined by reference to—

( a) the security of the premises,

( b) the location of the premises,

( c) their safety,

( d) their standard of construction,

( e) window displays, and

( f) types of merchandise,

and having regard to their use for, as the case may be, the manufacture, repair, testing or sale of imitation firearms.

(10) Applicants for registration or renewal shall satisfy the Minister that their premises comply with the minimum standards specified in any regulations under subsection (8) of this section.

(11) Without prejudice to subsection (2) of this section, the following persons are declared to be disentitled to be registered in the register of dealers in realistic imitation firearms:

( a) a person under the age of 21 years;

( b) a person of unsound mind;

( c) a person who has been sentenced to imprisonment for an offence under the Firearms Acts 1925 to 2009, the Offences Against the State Acts 1939 to 1998 or the Criminal Justice (Terrorist Offences) Act 2005;

( d) a person who is bound by a recognisance to keep the peace or be of good behaviour, a condition of which is that the person shall not possess, use or carry a firearm or ammunition.

(12) Every regulation made under this section shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be after it is made and, if a resolution annulling the regulation is passed by either such House within the next 21 days on which that House sits after the regulation is laid before it, the regulation shall be annulled accordingly but without prejudice to anything previously done thereunder.

Restrictions on import, manufacture and sale of realistic imitation firearms.

9D.— (1) On and after the date of commencement of section 40 of the Criminal Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009 it is an offence for any person to import, manufacture, sell, repair, test, expose for sale, or have in his possession for sale, repair or test by way of trade or business, any realistic imitation firearm unless such person is registered in the register of dealers in realistic imitation firearms.

(2) On and after the date of commencement of section 40 of the Criminal Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009 it is an offence for a person to sell a realistic imitation firearm to a person under the age of 16 years.

(3) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable:

( a) on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding €5,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twelve months or both, or

( b) on conviction on indictment, to a fine or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or both.

Removal of names from register of dealers in realistic imitation firearms.

9E.— (1) The Minister may at the request of any person who is registered in the register of dealers in realistic imitation firearms remove the name of such person from the register.

(2) If and when the Minister is satisfied that any person who is registered in the register of dealers in realistic imitation firearms—

( a) no longer carries on business as a dealer in realistic imitation firearms, or

( b) no longer has a place of business as such dealer in realistic imitation firearms in the State, or

( c) cannot any longer be permitted to carry on such business without danger to the public safety or to the peace, or

( d) has become a person who is declared under section 9C(11) of this Act to be disentitled to be registered in the register of dealers in realistic imitation firearms,

the Minister may remove the name of such person from the register.

(3) A person whose name is removed under this section from the register of dealers in realistic imitation firearms shall, on such removal, forthwith deliver up to the Minister the person’s certificate of registration or renewal.

(4) A person who contravenes subsection (3) of this section is guilty of an offence and on summary conviction is liable to a fine not exceeding €3,000.

Inspection of stock of dealer in realistic imitation firearms.

9F.— (1) Any member of the Garda Síochána may at all reasonable times enter the premises of any registered dealer in realistic imitation firearms and there inspect any imitation firearms and any materials used in the manufacture, repair or test thereof found on such premises.

(2) Every person who obstructs or impedes any member of the Garda Síochána in the exercise of any of the powers conferred on him by this section shall be guilty of an offence under this section and shall be liable on summary conviction thereof to a fine not exceeding €1,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or both.

Power by order to restrict sale of certain realistic imitation firearms from specified date.

9G.— (1) Notwithstanding section 9D(1), the Minister may, if he or she considers that realistic imitation firearms represent a threat to public safety and security, and following consultation with the Commissioner, by order set a date or dates after which it is an offence for a person to import, manufacture, sell, repair, test, expose for sale or have in his or her possession for sale, repair or testing by way of trade or business any realistic imitation firearm or to do any one or more of the foregoing as may be specified in the order.

(2) Any order made under this section shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be after it is made and, if a resolution annulling the order is passed by either such House within the next 21 days on which that House sits after the order is laid before it, the order shall be annulled accordingly but without prejudice to anything previously done thereunder.

(3) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable:

( a) on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding €5,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twelve months or both, or

( b) on conviction on indictment, to a fine or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or both.

Power by order to require certain descriptions of imitation firearms to conform to certain specifications.

9H.— (1) The Minister may, if he or she considers that certain imitation firearms represent a threat to public safety and security, and following consultation with the Commissioner, by order set a date or dates after which it is an offence for a person to import, manufacture, sell, repair, test, expose for sale or have in his or her possession for sale, repair or testing by way of trade or business certain descriptions of imitation firearms unless the imitation firearms conform to certain specifications set out in the order.

(2) In this section “imitation firearm” means anything which is not a firearm but has the appearance of being a firearm.

(3) Any order made under this section shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be after it is made and, if a resolution annulling the order is passed by either such House within the next 21 days on which that House sits after the order is laid before it, the order shall be annulled accordingly but without prejudice to anything previously done thereunder.

(4) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable:

( a) on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding €5,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twelve months or both, or

( b) on conviction on indictment, to a fine or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or both.

Tax clearance.

9I.— (1) In this section—

“Act of 1997” means the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997;

“Collector-General” means the Collector-General appointed under section 851 of the Act of 1997;

“tax clearance certificate” means a certificate under section 1095 (as substituted by section 127( b) of the Finance Act 2002) of the Act of 1997.

(2) The Minister shall refuse to register a person in the register of dealers in realistic imitation firearms or renew any such registration in respect of that person if that person is a person in relation to whom a tax clearance certificate is not in force.

(3) The Minister may nevertheless register a person in the register of dealers in realistic imitation firearms or renew any such registration in respect of that person if—

( a) the person has, at least four months before applying for such registration or renewal, applied for a tax clearance certificate and it has been refused and an appeal against the refusal has been made under section 1094(7) of the Act of 1997 but not determined, and

( b) the Minister would, but for subsection (2), have registered that person in the register of dealers in realistic imitation firearms or renewed any such registration in respect of the person.

(4) Where an appeal referred to in subsection (3) is made but is not successful, any registration or renewal of registration under that subsection shall expire 7 days after the appeal is determined or, where appropriate, finally determined.

(5) The Collector-General shall notify the Minister of any appeal against a refusal of an application for a tax clearance certificate and of the determination or, as appropriate, final determination of any such appeal.”.