Over 100,000 guns could be banned under new EU rules

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Claire Fox

Claire Fox

New legislation proposed by the EU means farmers could have to pay millions of euro to replace obsolete guns.

EU and Irish civil Servants are currently looking at restricting the use of lead in shooting and fishing, a move that could see over 100,000 guns in Ireland become obselete.

The EU move is centered around lead contamination and an EU council meeting is due to discuss the proposals next month.

If passed, the National Association of Regional Game Council (NARGC) estimates that 70-80pc of shotguns will be put out of action here.

It also estimates that the cost of replacing guns could amount to over €150m, with farmers accounting for over half of guns users in Ireland.

NARGC chair Dan Curley stated that the cost of replacing guns could be from €750 to €1,000 per gun and that if farmers want to have their guns re-proofed they would have to have them transferred to Birmingham in the UK as there is no proof house in Ireland.

“Reproofing could cost up to €300. There’s no infrastructure in Ireland if this legislation comes through. The government don’t seem to understand gaming at all and the massive repercussions this could have on farmers,” he said.

Mr Curley said that the EU is proposing that lead in guns be replaced with steel, but added that this is “a dangerous and inhumane” option that could put pressure on guns.

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“Steel puts pressure on older guns. Some guns that are certified for lead have tight chokes that aren’t suitable for steel and could be potentially very dangerous.”

Mr Curley also pointed out that if the ban on wetlands was introduced it would mean a ban on lead guns even in the likes of floodplains in Ireland.

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