Joint Statement from the IAA and IASRA

By on January 28, 2009

Dear Airsofters…..

Yesterday representatives from both the IAA and IASRA held a joint meeting at the request of the Department of Justice Equality and Law reform to discuss several topics regarding Airsoft in Ireland. The meeting was productive and open, and the two bodies put forward their views of where the future of our sport should lie. The department representatives raised some serious concerns they have with Airsoft and highlighted that other bodies such as the Gardai, Customs, the Army and An Post are voicing similar concerns to them. The department also highlighted concerns over illegal skirmish activities.

The upcoming Miscellaneous Provisions Bill was discussed, it is to comprise of one section in particular pertaining to Airsoft which will address the main concerns tabled by the government. One of the key creations of the bill will be a specific offence covering the irresponsible brandishing or carrying of a replica firearm in a public place.

The department put forward strong proposals to deal with the issues relating to customs, ballistic testing and appearance of Airsoft devices. One of the main proposals being a complete ban on all Airsoft devices except those made of clear plastic, similar to the Canadian approach. This was debated by the attendees and the department highlighted how this would resolve the issues which they are having with Airsoft, in particular that of appearance. The IAA and IASRA both agreed that this was not a viable solution for the Airsoft community in Ireland and would result in a large decline of the sport and would potentially drive it underground.

After much debate, the representatives of the department put forward an alternative solution which, only with strong community support, could be made viable. The proposition put forward would be a restriction on all personal imports of airsoft devices by individuals and further to this, certification of retail outlets would be put in place. This means that only genuine dedicated airsoft retailers who agree to a set of minimum retail standards would be granted a licence for sale and import by the department. Individuals who wish to import their own equipment from international sources would have to do so through a licensed retailer.

We will be publishing detailed minutes from the meeting soon. We realise that the Department’s proposals may not sit well with some private collectors or players, and some existing retailers. However, we feel this is a good alternative to an outright ban, or the Canadian solution which nobody really wants. We will be working closely with the Department to refine and put in place guidelines for retailers that will be fair, balanced and enforceable.

The IAA welcome everyone to submit their suggestions or help in relation to this whether it be for or against these changes. Please send details to [email protected]

There is a thread for discussion of this matter available on our forum here.

The IAA has documented its proposals and positions on legislative change, and presented these proposals to the Department of Justice at this meeting. This document is available here, or from our “Official Documents” section.

About kdouglas

You must be logged in to post a comment Login