Citation(s) from the literature library

Northern Ireland. 2005 ‘Intemperate Habits.’ Guidance on Northern Ireland Firearms Controls 2005; Section 7 (Appendix 2), p. 80. Belfast: Northern Ireland Assembly. 1 February

Relevant contents


1. This Appendix offers guidance on how the Chief Constable may assess a person's fitness
to be entrusted with a firearm as he is required to do by Article 5.1 It is without prejudice to what
a Court may decide constitutes fitness and contains a list of factors which are not intended to be
exhaustive or prescriptive.

Assessing fitness

2. The Chief Constable should, when considering an application for, or the revocation of, a
firearm certificate, take into account the following factors…

Intemperate Habits

7. Factors for consideration include evidence of -

(a) alcohol or drug abuse that may indicate that a person is unfit to possess a firearm due to the possible impairment of judgement and loss of self-control. The relevant case law here is "Luke v Little" (1980) and "Chief Constable of Essex v Germain" (1991). Usually, it will be a pattern of behaviour that causes concern but there may also be cases where one-off incidents will bring into question a person's fitness to possess firearms. In the case of "Lubbock v Chief Constable of Lothian and Borders" (2001) the Sheriff ruled that the revocation of a firearm and shotgun certificate following one isolated drink driving incident was justified given the person's general attitude towards the offence;

(b) aggressive or anti-social behaviour which may include domestic disputes or evidence of hostility likely to lead to violent acts against particular groups categorised by, for example, race, gender, sexual orientation, religion or class; or

(c) disturbing and unusual behaviour of a kind which gives rise to well-founded fears about the future misuse of firearms. A pattern of abuse should generally be regarded more seriously than a single incident, although isolated incidents should not be disregarded in the assessment.

ID: Q6851

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