Applying for a Firearms License in Ireland - Step-by-Step Guide
We've had a lot of queries lately via our social media from people wondering what is involved in applying for a Gun License in Ireland. So, being the helpful people that we are 😁 we've put together a Step-by-Step Guide, current as of July 2020. Hope you find it helpful!
1. Serial Number
First, find the gun you are interested in buying – you will need to include the gun’s exact serial number on your license application. Most gun dealers will require full payment for the gun in exchange for the serial number and will then keep the gun aside for you at their premises until you get your licence (or refund you if you are not given the license). Check the individual gun dealer’s T&Cs before you proceed. Please also note that air rifles require a gun license in Ireland, so all of the steps below apply equally to air rifles.
2. Firearms Safety Course
If it is your first license application, the Gardaí will require you to complete a certified Firearms Safety Course and include your certificate of completion with your gun license application form. NB: OpenSeason.ie run these courses every Saturday morning*- click here to book.
*Courses currently suspended while Covid Level 5 restrictions are in force - follow us on Facebook (OpenSeason.ie) where we will update when they resume*
You will need to confirm on your application form that you have complied with the storage requirements for your firearm(s). In brief, the regulations around unrestricted firearms are as follows:
- 1 Breakable Shotgun - gun cabinet/safe not required; sufficient to store this broken down and separated, with a trigger lock.
- 1 Unbreakable Shotgun, Air Rifle or Rifle - gun cabinet required.
- 1+ Guns (irrespective of type) - gun cabinet required.
- 5+ Guns (irrespective of type) - gun cabinet and alarm required.
- 6+ Guns (irrespective of type) - gun cabinet, cameras and monitored alarm.
If you are a landowner, you need to indicate the reasons you require a firearm (i.e. control of pests harmful to your property/livelihood). If you do not own land, you will need permission from a landowner to shoot on their land. Alternatively, if you are a Gun Club member, you will need to include a copy of your Gun Club membership with your Firearms license application.
5. Garda Firearm Certificate Application Form FCA1:
Download and complete your application form => https://www.garda.ie/en/about-us/online-services/firearms-licensing/fca1-firearm-certificate-application-2020.pdf Note: if you are applying for a license for a rifle with moderator (silencer), a valid reason for requiring the moderator will be required – you must include this or risk the license being processed without the requisite “S” permission for the moderator.
6. Passport Photo:
Include 1 passport photo with your application.
7. GP Contact Details:
Include on your application as directed.
The application also requires 2 references (name, address & contact number) from anyone you know. See FCA1 Form for further details and don't forget to notify your references that they may be contacted before you submit your application!
9. Sign & Submit:
Sign your completed application form (do not forget to sign! The Gardaí tell us that the signature is frequently forgotten and they cannot proceed with your application without a signature). Then take it to your local Garda station.
License application processing timescales vary from station to station – for a new gun, the timescale is approximately 3 weeks.
11. License Issued:
When your license application has been processed and successful, you will be issued a Firearms Certificate Grant Notice letter. Take this to your local Post Office, pay your €80 fee and the Post Office will issue your license. You can then take your license to your Gun Dealer who will release your gun to you.
12. Unsuccessful Application?
The right to appeal is detailed on the Garda FCA1 application form. You do not have leave to appeal an unsuccessful application for a moderator; this is entirely at the discretion of your local Garda Superintendent.
Updated: January 2021
Disclaimer: This is a general guide - any specific queries around the firearms legislation should be directed to your local Garda station.