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NI’s shooting and countryside organisations meet PSNI firearms branch staff

Northern Ireland’s shooting and countryside organisations, including Countryside Alliance Ireland, recently met with Police Service of Northern Ireland Firearms and Explosives Branch (PSNI FEB) staff and senior officials from the Department of Justice (DoJ) in Belfast.

Formed in May 2021, the Northern Ireland Firearms Representative Group (NIFRG) is an umbrella group which brings together 10 national and local shooting and countryside organisations.

The group accepted an invitation from Julie Morrison, head of FEB, to meet with her staff for a ‘get to know you’ session.

There has been a recent notable improvement in both the level of service provided by FEB and relationships with stakeholders, and the meeting provided the opportunity for the NIFRG to place on record its thanks and appreciation to staff for their hard work.

While there is still much work to be done, the NIFRG is confident that the service can be further improved by working collaboratively with FEB.  Speaking after the meeting an NIFRG spokesperson said:

“The NIFRG represents the broadest spectrum of NI’s 54,000 firearm certificate holders. We welcomed and appreciated the opportunity to inform FEB staff and senior DoJ officials about the work we do, and we received a warm reception from staff who were interested in learning more about us and our member’s interests.

“We extend our thanks and appreciation to Assistant Chief Constable Melanie Jones and the head of PSNI FEB, for the kind invitation to meet with and address the entire FEB team.” 

Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Melanie Jones, of the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Firearms and Explosives Branch, said:

“We would like to thank the Northern Ireland Firearms Representative Group (NIFRG) members for coming along to this conference.

“It was a welcome chance for us to meet with various affiliate and governing shooting bodies, along with partners, to share more about what we do, make introductions to our team and to hear from members on specific local issues.

“Despite ongoing pressures surrounding resourcing issues and backlogs, we are seeing improvements in many areas and it is encouraging that this is being seen by NIFRG members.”

NIFRG’s spokesperson continued: We look forward to continuing to work constructively with the FEB senior management team and the DoJ to deliver a fair and efficient firearms licensing system, that provides value for money and that continues to ensure public safety.”

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