Citation(s) from the literature library

Northern Ireland. 2005 ‘Carrying or Discharging a Firearm in a Public Place.’ Guidance on Northern Ireland Firearms Controls 2005; Part VII (Article 61), p. 54. Belfast: Northern Ireland Assembly. 1 February

Relevant contents

Carrying or Discharging a Firearm in a Public Place

1. It is an offence to have in a public place without lawful authority or reasonable excuse -
(i) a loaded shotgun;
(ii) an air gun (whether loaded or not);
(iii) or any other firearm (whether loaded or not) together with ammunition suitable for use in that firearm; or
(iv) an imitation firearm.

Care should be taken to ensure that those who may have lawful authority or reasonable excuse to carry firearms in a public place are not unnecessarily inconvenienced.

Note: Unloaded air guns and imitation firearms were added to the list of firearms covered by this offence by way of the Firearms (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) Order 2005.

2. Article 2(4) explains that a shotgun or an air gun is to be treated as loaded if there is ammunition in the chamber or barrel or in any magazine or other device which is in a position where the ammunition can be fed into the chamber or barrel by the normal or automatic operation of some part of the firearm.

3. "Public place" is not defined but has its normal meaning of any premises or place to which at the material time the public have or are permitted to have access, whether on payment or otherwise.

4. It is an offence for any person, without lawful authority or excuse, to discharge any firearm on a public road or within 18 metres of the centre of a public road or in a church, churchyard or burial ground.

5 See Article 68 in relation to a defence.

ID: Q6849

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