Gun/Game Clubs enjoy the benefits afforded by NARGC by becoming affiliated to the Regional Game Council of the County where the Gun/Game Club is located.
Individual Game Hunters become members of the NARGC Compensation Fund and associate members of the NARGC by joining their local Gun Club which in turn is affiliated to a Regional Game Council.
Other organisations enjoy the benefits which the NARGC has to offer simply by affiliating to the Regional Game Council in the same way as a Game/Gun Club.
For information and contact details on how to affiliate/become a member in your area, please click the membership tab on the homepage.
The National Association of Regional Game Councils (NARGC) is the largest voluntary organisation in Ireland involved in game shooting and conservation. The Association has 28,000 Associate Members in approx. 926 Gun Clubs spread throughout the country - one Club in almost every parish. It has enjoyed an increasing membership year on year for the past nine years with an average increase of 500 per annum.
A few reports have reached us indicating that some people out there believe that once they joined a Gun Club for the purpose of obtaining their Firearms Licence, that they may now cease such membership until next renewal.
Not so! The Garda Commissioner's Guidelines on this are clear and state quote "Individuals who have cited membership of, for example, a clay pigeon club or game shooting club as their ‘Good Reason' for having a firearm certificate must be mindful that if they should allow their membership of the club to lapse for any period during the lifetime of the certificate, that this may constitute grounds for revoking their firearm certificate."
Accordingly, if individuals cease to renew their Club membership EVERY YEAR during the currency of their licence, then they leave themselves open to the revocation of their licence.
The Garda Commissioner’s Guidelines states at the top of page 22:
“Individuals who have cited membership of, for example, a clay pigeon club or game shooting club as their ‘Good Reason’ for having a firearm certificate must be mindful that if they should allow their membership of the club to lapse for any period during the lifetime of the certificate, that this may constitute grounds for revoking their firearm certificate.”
This in effect means that if someone offers their membership of a gun club as their good reason for acquiring a firearm, they are expected to stay with that club for the duration of the licence period or with a similar club.
Section 32 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006 substituted a new Section 4 in the Principal Act (The Firearms Act 1925) including the provision that a Superintendent of An Garda Siochana must satisfy himself that an applicant for a firearms certificate must demonstrate he/she has a good reason for requiring the firearm and membership of a game club can be regarded as establishing good reason. Therefore when a certificate holder ceases to be a member of a club, they no longer have a good reason to possess a firearm.
We are often asked what should be done about people who joined clubs and obtained their firearms certificates on the basis of the club membership but then failed to renew membership from the second year on.
Such people are abusing our clubs and they should be dealt with accordingly. Clubs should make a formal complaint to the relevant Superintendent of the Garda Siochana citing the Commissioner’s Guidelines above and confirming that the relevant party is no longer a club member. It has been said to us that the individuals may be members of other clubs. That may or may not be so. However, a club secretary is responsible only for confirming the person’s membership status of the secretary’s club.
Before notifying the Gardai, the lapsed members should be written to and informed that in the absence of their renewing their membership within a period of not longer than one month, the Gardai will be informed.
Clubs should not have any reservations about taking this course of action. There should be no hesitation in moving to protect clubs from being exploited in this way.
When informing the Gardai, do so in writing and make clear that your letter is a formal complaint.