Citation(s) from the GunPolicy.org literature library
Ireland. 2014 ‘Storage of Ammunition - Firearms Dealers.’ Firearms and Ammunition FAQ. Dublin: An Roinin Dlí Agus Cirt Comhionannais (Department of Justice and Equality). 21 January
Storage of Ammunition - Firearms Dealers
1. Is ammunition and/or propellant powder classed as an explosive?
Yes, ammunition and propellant powder are both classified as explosives under the Explosives Act 1875. The Explosives Act 1875 is currently being updated.
2. Is a licence required to store ammunition or powder?
That depends on the quantity stored. There are two relevant levels of storage authorised under the Explosives Act:
- Registered Premises; i.e. a premises registered each year with the local authority to store explosives. This term is not to be confused with "registered firearms dealer" (See Q3 below). There are two subdivisions of registered premises called Mode A and Mode B (See Q4 below)
- Local Authority Stores; i.e. a store licensed by the local authority to store explosives (See Q5 below).
3. Is a registered firearms dealer required to have authorised storage for ammunition?
Yes, it is sometimes wrongly assumed that being a registered firearms dealer (under the Firearms Acts) automatically means that the premises is also registered for storage under the Explosives Act when, in fact, this is separate legislation. A registered firearms dealer needs to have either a registered premises or a local authority store to store his stocks of ammunition.
4. What are the Registered Premises Modes?
- Mode A: A substantial building (constructed of brick, iron, stone or concrete or an excavation in solid rock) or a securely constructed fireproof safe detached from a dwelling at a safe distance from a street or public place. The general limit is 200 lbs of mixed explosives and in addition, 500 lbs of small arms ammunition (or 700 lbs if small arms ammunition only).
- Mode B: A substantial receptacle or safe inside a dwelling house or public room. The general limit is 50 lbs of mixed explosives or double this if kept in a fireproof safe, and in addition, 500 lbs of small arms ammunition (or 550 lbs if small arms ammunition only).
5. What is a local authority store?
This is a store built in accordance with the Stores for Explosives Order (S.I. No 804 of 2007) which is licensed by the local authority for the storage of up to two tonnes of explosives. The licence can last for up to five years before it needs to be renewed.
6. How many cartridges do these explosive limits equate to?
Propellant weight is usually expressed in grains with 1 lb = 7,000 grains of powder. This table gives a rough guide to the maximum quantity of cartridges permitted in accordance with the explosive limits and based on typical cartridge propellant loads:
Ammunition examples: Typical propellant weight per cartridge (grains) - Reg Premises Mode B See Q4 (cartridges) - Reg Premises Mode A See Q4 (cartridges) - Local Authority Store (2 tonnes)
9mm Pistol: 5 - 770,000 - 980,000 - 6 Million
.22 LR: 3 - 1.2 Million - 1.6 Million - 10 Million
Shotgun: 15 - 250,000 - 320,000 - 2 Million
Shotgun: 36 - 100,000 - 136,000 - 850,000
7. Which type of storage is suitable?
The vast majority of dealers storing ammunition should find registered premises adequate for their ammunition stocks. The bigger dealers/importers or those storing bulk propellant would probably require a local authority store.
8. Is powder the same as ammunition for storage purposes?
No, controls on storage of powder are far stricter due to the extra safety and security requirements involved, including construction, separation distances, fire precautions, etc.
9. How do I get my premises registered or licensed for storage purposes?
Application forms for registration or licence can be found on our website here. The Fire Officer is normally the authorised officer of the local authority who deals with registration or local authority licensing under the Explosives Act.
10. What about security issues?
Your local Garda Síochána crime prevention officer will be able to advise you on security.
11. When do I need to show evidence of current registration of premises or local authority licence?
- on renewal of dealership;
- on application to import ammunition shipments;
- on inspection by a Government Inspector of Explosives or authorised officer of local authority.
12. Where do I get additional information?
General Guidance Notes on explosives legislation, the Stores for Explosives Order and the relevant application forms are all available on our website. Further information can also be obtained from your local authority Fire Officer.
[Editor's note: See Explosives Order (S.I. No 804 of 2007)]