Citation(s) from the Gun Policy News media archive
Groups of Uniformed Gardai to be Fully Armed in Shake-up
MORE than 120 uniformed gardai in specialist units countrywide will be permanently armed from today as part of a crackdown on criminal gangs and dissident terrorists
1 January 2014
More than 120 uniformed gardai in specialist units countrywide will be permanently armed from today as part of a crackdown on criminal gangs and dissident terrorists.
This is the first time that uniformed gardai have been given permission to carry guns full-time since the foundation of the force almost a century ago…
Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan has ordered that all the regional response units will be permanently armed after a rise in the number of incidents requiring garda firepower…
The five regional units were set up nationally to act as response squads to deal with certain incidents, where those involved were either armed or presented some form of serious threat to themselves or the public. But the units, one for each garda region outside Dublin, were previously allowed to carry guns only on a part-time basis. Their members, who are all members of the uniformed branch of the force, have up to now been patrolling unarmed with their weapons locked into the boots of their cars. But they were converted into an armed unit if called on to respond to an incident where there was a threat to life or the possibility of an armed confrontation.
Now the garda authorities have decided that units based in each garda region should be permanently armed…
The regional units are armed with weaponry including high-powered Heckler and Koch MP7 machine guns. They are comprised of 24 officers in each of the five regions…
[T]he decision to arm the five permanent units is also expected to lead to a reduction in the overall number of personnel who are licensed to carry firearms.
At the moment, about 3,500 have licences but garda authorities wish to see this reduced.