How to get a gun license in Ireland

Updated March 21, 2017

Gun licenses in Ireland are heavily controlled by the Garda Station (Gaeilge: Gárda Síochána) Legislation, called the Firearms Act of 1925, through which the Garda Station has the power to review, approve or deny an application for a gun license. Despite the lengthy process, you will likely receive an approval on your application if you follow the guidelines and can prove yourself as a responsible gun owner and someone who will not pose a risk to public safety.

Meet the minimum requirements to get a gun license in Ireland. Under Section 4 of the Firearms Act, individuals 15 years of age or older can apply, so long as they can show they have a valid reason for requiring a firearm; will not pose a danger to public safety or interrupt the peace by owning a firearm; have a safe, secure place to store both the gun and ammunition; and are not prohibited from owning a firearm for reasons defined under Section 8 of the act.

Visit the governing Garda Station in your district. There, request the Garda superintendent of the district and ask for a Firearm Certificate Application. You may only apply through the station in the district where you physically live and where you will store your firearm(s).

Complete the application to get a gun license in Ireland. Fill in your first and last name, along with your address and other personal information. Complete the entire application honestly; the Garda Station performs background checks on applicants, and if you answer a question dishonestly, you can receive penalties and even jail time in addition to having your application denied.

Return your completed application to the Garda superintendent. You may leave it with one of the other gardai at the front desk of the station, who will pass your application on to the superintendent if he is not available.

Pay the application fee. A shotgun license, which allows for shooting unlimited game in-season only, costs €25/£19.70. A rifle or handgun license, under which you cannot shoot game (though it permits pests and clay dishes), costs costs €38/£30. An additional or limited shotgun license costs €6/£4.50, although you'll have to pay full price for a second rifle or handgun license.

Wait up to three months. By law, the Irish government must render a decision on your application to get a gun license within this time. The Garda Superintendent can extend the waiting period if you need to furnish further information, or if you need to show proof of some or all of the requirements to obtain the license. If this happens, the waiting period resets and you will have to wait an additional three months.


Individuals at least 14 years of age can apply for a trainer's permit under special circumstances, provided they have the permission from both parents, and their parents sign the application form.

Things You'll Need

  • Personal information
  • Firearm Certificate Application
  • Secured lockbox
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About the Author

Carrie Ferland is a practicing civil litigation defense attorney in the Philadelphia Area. As an author, her work has been featured in various legal publications for over 10 years. Ferland is a 2000 graduate of Pennsylvania State University and completed her Juris Doctorate and Master of Business Administration with the Dickinson School of Law. She is currently pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy in English.