Citation(s) from the literature library

Sarma, Kiran. 2008 ‘Responding to Firearms Assisted Suicide in Ireland.’ Irish Journal of Psychology; 26 (3-4), p. 243. Dublin: 1 January

Relevant contents

Section 8 of the [1925 Firearms] Act provides a list of such 'disentitled' persons and includes those of 'unsound mind'.

At the time of commencement of the act there was no legal definition of 'unsound mind'. Subsequently the Mental Treatment Act (MTA) 1945 defined 'unsound mind' as referring to a psychiatric patient involuntarily committed to a receiving psychiatric unit and who, it is believed, requires more than six months to recover from his/her illness. The MTA's definition, however, was specific to involuntary committals and was not intended to have wider applicability.

In any case the Mental Health Act 2001 reformed the involuntary committal process and rendered the term defunct in this context. Thus there is still no legal definition of 'unsound mind' that is applicable to the firearm certificate application process…

In fact the application forms currently in use do not provide for information relating to mental health and the applicant is not required to explicitly declare that that they meet the basic requirements to hold a firearm.

ID: Q229

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