Public Statement in Relation to Go-Tactical

By on March 27, 2008

*** Sean O’Callaghan, PRO for the IAA will be appearing on the Drivetime Radio broadcast this evening between 16:30 and 17:00. 89.1 – RTE Radio 1. This is in relation to the issue below. You can discuss the show in detail here***

Download available here

Regarding the opening of Go-Tactical Ltd on the Dargle road in Bray;

Ronan Lowe, acting Chair of the IAA has personally visited the location and can confirm that the security measures are in excess of the requirements of such a retailer. Having spoken to the proprietor, Mr Peter Sharpe he has confirmed that this is both for his peace of mind and that of the local residents.

Regarding the potential for sale of Airsoft devices to minors;

Mr. Peter Sharpe is both an individual member of the Irish Airsoft Association and his business is registered as an IAA Affiliate. We are satisfied from discussion with Mr Sharpe that he is conforming to both the players code of conduct and the interim retailers regulations which require that no sale of airsoft devices be made to persons between 16 years and 18 years without consent of a parent or guardian and that no sales be made to individuals under 18 years.

Regarding the issue of airsoft devices being sold for nefarious purposes

Mr Sharpe, in discussion, made it clear that he believes (as do the IAA) that sale of Airsoft devices to suspicious individuals should not take place and he reserves the right to refuse sale to any individual on these grounds. The IAA believes that the burden of responsibility for the proper use of equipment should be on the individual person (as it is under the law) and that persons using airsoft devices in an irresponsible or criminal manner do not represent the community as a whole. The law, as it stands, is sufficient to prosecute and punish criminals regardless of the objects or devices they use in the commission of a crime. Using an airsoft device in a criminal manner is a crime (the law views an replica item used in such a manner as the genuine article).

Regarding the allegations made by Liz McManus

It is the IAA’s considered opinion that Ms McManus, though meaning well, is unaware of the facts and as such has made erroneous statements about airsoft equipment and Go-Tactical as a business.

– The safe operation of legally held airsoft devices requires no greater safety equipment than a pair of goggles resistant to impacts of 1 joule of energy – no other equipment, “heavy-duty” or otherwise is required.

– Businesses retailing airsoft equipment are not required by law to consult or notify the Gardai. Legal airsoft devices are not firearms (by definition given in the Criminal Justice Bill 2006) and are therefore not subject to the same laws as firearms. In the case of Go-Tactical Ltd, Gardai were in fact consulted for the purposes of reassuring them that all laws were being complied with.

– Airsoft devices are categorically NOT dangerous, contrary to Ms McManus’ claims. They are engineered specifically to be incapable of causing significant harm or damage. This is reflected by their slow speed and low energy output (some 15 times less energy than the more well known paintball markers). Claims to the contrary fly in the face of both Irish law and the scientific findings of the UK Metropolitan police report on the subject.

– Airsoft is an enthusiast’s hobby and sport played by responsible people on private property away from public areas and view.

TD McManus’ press release referred to in our statement

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