According to statistics from An Garda Síochána, there are 19,402 firearms licenced in Cork — with Cork West accounting for the highest number of licenced firearms.
That Garda division holds 8,348 licenced firearms, while Cork North has 7,702. Cork City has 3,352 licenced firearms.
Garda sources point out that rural areas have the highest number of licenced firearms, because of their use on farms and for hunting.
They also indicated that a small number of such weapons have been seized in the past year in situations of domestic abuse, or where there were disputes between people.
Firearms licences are renewed every three years. On the first application for a licence, an applicant is interviewed by gardaí and his or her background is checked.
A form must be filled in with medical information, character references, past criminal history check, and competence in relation to firearms.
To grant a licence, a superintendent must be satisfied that the applicant is not a danger to the public safety or peace; has a secure gun safe for storage of the weapon, and has a “good and sufficient reason” for owning a firearm.