Countryside Alliance Ireland (CAI) welcomes the decision by the Department of Justice for Northern Ireland (DOJNI) that it is not a requirement for Registered Firearms Dealers (RFDs) in Northern Ireland to hold records electronically. This decision brings Northern Ireland into compliance with the amendments to the European Firearms Directive, which come in to force on 31 December 2014, as part of the UK decentralised electronic record keeping of firearms. Contrary to previous advice from the DOJNI individual dealers can decide to keep their records electronically or in paper form.
Lyall Plant, Chief Executive of Countryside Alliance Ireland said: “We are delighted that the DOJNI has accepted that in order to comply with the EU Firearms Directive RFDs are not required to hold electronic records, and that the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) will hold that data centrally as part of the UK’s decentralised approach to implementation of the Directive. The previous insistence that compliance required RFDs to move to electronic record keeping was wrong and was yet another example of unnecessary “gold plating” by the authorities. The Government has repeatedly made clear that unnecessary regulations and burdens on business should be removed, including the “gold plating” of EU laws.
Thanks to the persistence of The Gun Trade Guild NI (GTG NI) Chairman, and CAI Board Member, David Robinson, RFDs in NI are now free to keep records in whatever form they choose, in full accordance with the European Directive. CAI and the GTG NI will be seeking an immediate meeting with the DOJNI and the PSNI to discuss the necessary changes that will have to be made in regard to the type and timing of information supplied by dealers to PSNI Firearms and Explosives Branch.
We continue to question whether the Directive does in fact require any RFD in the UK to hold electronic records, as is being imposed elsewhere in the UK. ”