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Firearm News

Northern Ireland

Who Owns Northern Ireland's 153,000 Legally Held Guns?

23 August 2012

The Detail (Ireland)

As the Department of Justice consults on proposed changes to firearms licensing laws here, The Detail can reveal information about the owners of Northern Ireland's 153,459 legally held guns. Almost 60,000 members of the public own over 146,000 firearms with the remaining 7,018 legally held guns belonging to serving police and prison officers. The Detail has been given rare access to information stored on the PSNI's Shogun firearms database in response to a Freedom of... (

Read More: The Detail (Ireland)


England & Wales,United Kingdom,Scotland,Northern Ireland

When Are UK Cops Allowed to Carry Guns?

10 August 2011

Foreign Policy (USA)

This week's riots in Britain, which have spread from the north London neighborhood of Tottenham to the cities of Birmingham, Liverpool, and Manchester, were sparked by the Aug. 4 shooting by police of a 29-year old London man. The victim, Mark Duggan, was carrying a weapon, though tests show he did not fire it. But Britain has long been well known for having an unarmed police force. Is that still the case? Yes, but there are an increasing number of exceptions. The... (

Read More: Foreign Policy (USA)


Northern Ireland

Stolen Gun Used in Dissident Republican Shooting in Northern Ireland

20 July 2011

BBC News

A gun stolen during a raid on a west Belfast home was later used in a dissident republican punishment shooting, the High Court has been told. The loaded semi-automatic pistol was then found in the bedroom of another house in the city, prosecutors said. Police have charged a 23-year-old man with an arms offence after DNA from the weapon was matched to their database. Sean Megaw, of Glasvey Drive, Dunmurry, is accused of possessing a firearm and ammunition in... (

Read More: BBC News


Northern Ireland,United Kingdom,England & Wales,Scotland

Which UK Police Officers Carry Guns?

8 June 2010

BBC News

Q&A: Armed Police in the UK Gunman Derrick Bird pointed a gun at two police officers during his rampage through Cumbria which left 12 people dead, it has emerged. The county's Deputy Chief Constable Stuart Hyde said the unarmed officers tried to pursue Bird but could do nothing to stop the killings. The incident has raised questions as to whether officers should be routinely armed on patrol. Q. Which UK police officers carry guns? With the exception of the Police... (

Read More: BBC News


United Kingdom,Northern Ireland,United States

Smith & Wesson Gun Maker Sees Sales Almost Doubling in 3-5 Years

9 November 2009


Smith & Wesson Holding Corp (SWHC.O), known for its 157-year-old handguns business, expects to nearly double its annual sales in the next three to five years, the company said in a filing. The Springfield, Massachusetts-based company which forecast $650 million in yearly sales also expects gross margins of 35 to 36 percent by that time, boosted by its acquisition of privately held Universal Safety Response Inc (USR). It posted gross margins of 29.2 percent on sales of... (

Read More: Reuters


United Kingdom,Northern Ireland

To Keep Hidden Handguns, Owners Join Gun Clubs in Northern Ireland

7 September 2009

Belfast Telegraph

Former members of the security forces are joining gun clubs so they can hold onto their personal protection weapons (PPWs). With the terrorist threat from dissident republicans growing, former UDR, RIR and RUC officers in rural areas are joining local gun clubs so they won't have to surrender their PPWs. One former UDR member who survived two IRA assassination bids said that he knows of 15 former colleagues in east Tyrone who have joined clubs to keep their weapons.... (

Read More: Belfast Telegraph


Lithuania,United Kingdom,Northern Ireland

Real IRA 'Gunrunner' Held 18mths in Lithuania Jail, Denied Trial, No Bail

30 August 2009

BBC News

VILNIUS — The trial in Lithuania of a County Louth man charged with trying to buy arms and explosives for the Real IRA has been adjourned until October. Michael Campbell, 36, was arrested in Lithuania after allegedly trying to buy weapons from an intelligence officer posing as an international arms dealer. His brother, Liam, is believed to be a senior Real IRA member, which opposes British rule in Northern Ireland. It was set up in 1997 after the mainstream IRA... (

Read More: BBC News


United Kingdom,Northern Ireland

Police Back to Carrying Their Heckler & Koch Rifles in Northern Ireland

30 March 2009

Herald Sun (Melbourne)

BELFAST — Police in parts of Northern Ireland have begun wearing flak jackets and carrying rifles for the first time in years following three high-profile killings. The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) has returned to arming some of its officers after the fatal shootings of two British soldiers and a police officer within 48 hours of each other in early March. "Regional commanders will decide where it is appropriate to advise patrols to carry Heckler and... (

Read More: Herald Sun (Melbourne)


Lithuania,United Kingdom,Northern Ireland

Ulster Gun Runner Held in Lithuania Sought Weapons for Real IRA

15 March 2009

Daily News (Bahrain)

VILNIUS, Lithuania — A man suspected of trying to buy arms in Lithuania for Real IRA - an Irish Republican Army splinter group that claimed the recent killing of two British soldiers — must stand trial, prosecutors said yesterday. For the first time, Sinn Fein, the IRA-linked political party that represents most of the north's Catholic minority, was sending representatives to the burial of an officer killed in sectarian violence. The mourners at the funeral in... (

Read More: Daily News (Bahrain)


United Kingdom,Northern Ireland

Licensed Gun Dealer Loses 9 Handguns to IRA Robbers in N Ireland

25 November 2008

Irish Times / PA

A licensed Northern Ireland gun dealer was held up at gunpoint and robbed of a number of weapons, it was revealed today. Three masked men, one carrying a shotgun, held up the dealer in his shop at Main Street in Garrison, Co Fermanagh on Saturday evening, police said. Police are trying to establish whether dissident republicans are arming themselves. A Police Service of Northern Ireland spokesman said: "We are not ruling anything out at the moment." He said a... (

Read More: Irish Times / PA


United Kingdom,Northern Ireland

'Fanatic' Gun Collector Converted Weapons for Profit, Not Irish Loyalists

20 October 2008

The north Belfast gun expert who shot himself last week was selling weapons that he converted to fire live ammunition purely for profit, it has been claimed. Billy Bell, who was in his 50s and a former member of the UDR, is thought to have killed himself with one of the more than 70 weapons found in his house in Ballysillan following his death, along with more than a thousand rounds of ammunition. More weapons were subsequently discovered in lock-up premises in the... (

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United Kingdom,Northern Ireland

Suicide of Loyalist Commissar Yields 80 Illegal Guns in Northern Ireland

17 October 2008

BBC News

More than 80 guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition have been found by police in a loyalist area of Belfast. Police officers went to the Ballysillan area of north Belfast to investigate the death of a man at the weekend. It is believed he took his own life. In follow-up searches of his house, police said they found more than 70 suspected guns. More guns were seized from a nearby lock-up premises. The guns are thought to be linked to the UVF. All the weapons... (

Read More: BBC News


Lithuania,Ireland,United Kingdom,Northern Ireland

Real IRA Suspect Arrested in Lithuania-to-Ireland Gun Running Sting

24 January 2008

Guardian (UK)

The brother of one of the Real IRA's founders has been arrested in Lithuania while allegedly trying to buy arms for the dissident Irish republican terror group. Michael Campbell, 35, was arrested in Vilnius on Tuesday in a "sting" involving the local police, Garda Síochána, Interpol and British security services. An unnamed Irish woman was detained alongside Campbell as he allegedly tried to negotiate a deal with a police agent who was posing as an international arms... (

Read More: Guardian (UK)


United Kingdom,Northern Ireland,France

Real IRA Smuggled Guns to Northern Ireland from Eastern Europe, France

16 January 2008

Irish News (Belfast)

In November 2003 police in France arrested five people in connection with a Real IRA arms-smuggling ring after a small arms cache was discovered close to the Port of Dieppe. However, while attention was focused on allegations of a plot to bring weapons in from the continent a massive haul of arms was already on route to Northern Ireland. Purchased from International arms dealers the haul, which included rocket launchers and automatic assault rifles, had been sourced... (

Read More: Irish News (Belfast)


United Kingdom,Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland Gun Owners Warned to Renew Licence Six Weeks Early

1 October 2007

Belfast Telegraph

Firearms certificate holders were today warned to renew their certificates six weeks in advance or risk losing their licence. The PSNI has said all applications for renewal must be received by the Firearms and Explosives Branch six weeks before expiration. Failure to apply in time could result in police refusing to renew the licence. Police said they will continue to issue reminders 12 weeks ahead of the expiry date, but insisted that the onus was on owners to... (

Read More: Belfast Telegraph


United Kingdom,Northern Ireland

In Ireland, Half of All Gun Killings Involve Men Aged 21-30, 63% in Dublin

11 April 2007

Belfast Telegraph

More than half of all gun killings in Ireland involve men aged between 21 and 30, according to figures released this afternoon. New research from the Department of Forensic Medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons also shows that 63% of gun deaths between 2001 and 2005 happened in Dublin. Almost four out of ten killings in this period were drugs related and 65% of victims were already known to Gardaí. The research also shows that well over half of all attackers... (

Read More: Belfast Telegraph


United Kingdom,Northern Ireland

Gun That Terrorised Ulster Remains Most Widely Used Firearm in World

27 June 2006

Belfast Telegraph (UK)

The AK-47 assault rifle — the so-called "weapon of choice" of Northern Ireland's paramilitaries during the Troubles — will remain the most widely used weapon in conflict zones for at least the next 20 year because it is so poorly regulated. That is the conclusion of a new report from the Control Arms campaign comprised of Amnesty International, Oxfam International and the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA). The report was submitted to the UN world... (

Read More: Belfast Telegraph (UK)


United Kingdom,Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland, 1 in 12 Own Guns - Treble the Rate in England & Wales

18 March 2006

Belfast Telegraph (UK)

Over 20,000 firearms certificates were issued by police to members of the security forces and private citizens last year, it emerged last night. That equates to one in 12 people here owning a gun — three times the figure for England and Wales — and that's just the legally held weapons. Gun owners believe concerns are "alarmist" but news that the Chief Constable issued 20,074 certificates to applicants in 2005 will spark more attention. Lord Laird obtained the... (

Read More: Belfast Telegraph (UK)


United Kingdom,Northern Ireland,Ireland

Vast Extent of IRA Arsenal, Weapon Destruction Revealed

2 October 2005

Observer (UK)

Members of the IRA had to be issued with dozens of immunity-from-arrest certificates in order to transport tonnes of weapons being decommissioned last month. The scale of the disarmament was so immense that the six certificates issued to the IRA had to be photocopied dozens of times to facilitate its "volunteers" taking guns, ammunition and explosives from arms hides to a central location in Northern Ireland. Republican sources told The Observer that the Irish and... (

Read More: Observer (UK)


United Kingdom,Northern Ireland

Monitors Report Seeing the IRA's Entire Gun, Ammo Arsenal Destroyed

27 September 2005

Guardian (UK)

The IRA's entire arsenal of weapons has been destroyed, the head of the international decommissioning body said yesterday. The retired Canadian general John de Chastelain said that he had examined "large quantities of arms" which he was satisfied made up the "totality of the IRA's arsenal". This included "a full range of ammunition, rifles, machine guns, mortars, missiles, handguns, explosives, explosive substances and other arms". This is the first time in their... (

Read More: Guardian (UK)