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Heckler & Koch SL8 (courtesy

The tells the tale of two [unnamed] Irish blokes who spent seven years in the Army Reserve. When the rifle shooting competitors applied for licenses for their firearms—an MKE .223 semiautomatic rifle and a Heckler and Koch SL8–Chief Supt David Sheahan sent them packing. “Chief Supt Sheahan said he regarded the MKE .223 semiautomatic rifle to be ‘military in style’ and there was no requirement in target shooting competitions to have such a high-powered gun . . . It was not disputed by the state that both men were of excellent character.” As you read the following account of the court case, keep in mind the various definitions of an “assault rifle” in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, California, etc. . . .

Det Insp Kevin Brooks, a Garda ballistics expert, told state solicitor for County Limerick Aidan Judge that he had attended the shooting competition in Castlemaine. This was organised according to the rules of the Civilian Marksmanship Programme (CMP), an American programme originally developed to train civilians in the use of weapons so they could be called upon in times of war.

There were a number of differences in the Irish three-position-shoot competition, however, Det Insp Brooks told Judge O’Kelly. One was that Irish competitors were under no time limit in which to get 10 shots off.

“You are not reloading under pressure of time which is an element of combat training,” said Det Insp Brooks. This meant that there was “no requirement for this type of weapon, a semi-automatic centrefire rifles such this” and a marksman with a simple bolt-action rifle would not be at any disadvantage, Det Insp Brooks said.

But Tom MacGowan BL, for the applicants, said that it was far safer for competitors who were in a sitting position to use a semi-automatic as a bolt-action would require changing position, charging the gun, pushing in the bolt and other movements and manipulations of the weapon.

Judge O’Kelly also noted the evidence of an ballistics expert, Seamus O Dromaire, who appeared for the applicants.

He said that the Heckler and Koch was “developed specifically for sporting purposes” with modifications to the trigger and other parts which Judge O’Kelly said “appeared to take it out of the category of the assault rifle”.

All this so that two men “of excellent character” could shoot “military style” rifles at competitions.

Judge Eugene O’Kelly ruled in favor of the competitors, asserting that it was the legislature’s job to ban “assault rifles” for civilians, not Chief Supt Sheahan’s. As for average Irish citizens who wishes to own a modern sporting rifle for self-defense, hunting, target shooting or defense against tyranny, nope. Ain’t gonna happen.

A vision of the future for gun control states? Yes. Yes it is.

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  1. In ten years, well be living in two different countries as far as the RKBA is concerned.

    Blue States will default to the “Prohibited unless you know the Mayor” standard for anything not manually operated, and the rest of the United States will stick to the shall issue status quo or even go Consittutional Carry. Don’t be surprised if all the leftist zones start harrasing travelling gun owners once they’ve run out of ways to jam up their own residents.

  2. .223 IS NOT HIGH POWERED FOR A RIFLE! What the hell is wrong with people?

    Not you, Robert. I’m referring to constable Paddy McIgnorant.

        • No – Pressure is.
          Sorry to burst your bubble, but 50,000+ psi puts it into the high power category despite the projectile size.

          I cox .049 is a VERY high power engine. Then again so is a shuttle engine.

        • Umm… .22LR is the “gold standard” for competition target shooting, David PA/NJ??

          Ummm… since when? Or is that the NJ standard?

          What if I want to compete at 300 yards? 600 yards? 1,000 yards? A .22LR? Really?

          Is anyone using .22LR in IDPA, 3-gun, or USPSA?

          Or was this a facetious post?

    • I guess these idiots forgot how big .303 British is, or .30-06. This is what happens when your head is jammed very far up your arse.

    • .223 IS NOT HIGH POWERED FOR A RIFLE! What the hell is wrong with people?

      Tell that to the folks who run “NRA High Power Rifle” competitions, where the AR-15 in .223/5.56mm is the most common rifle used.

      Otherwise, stop thinking that you’ve come up with some clever argument.

      • It’s a perfectly reasonable argument. The truth is most guns are “high power” and capable of killing someone. Similarly most guns are capable of being used to assault someone. So why use the term “high power” or “assault weapon” unless you want to scare people?

        Sure, relative to .22lr the .223 round is “high powered”, but there are many common rifle calibers that are much higher powered than .223 (7.62×39mm, .308, .30-06, etc.)

        • I agree. The .223 / 5.56 platform is good for about 1350 foot pounds. Perhaps a bit more, if you were to really push it. From a 16″ barrel, passing 1200 FPE is a considerable challenge. Virtually every center fire rifle cartridge eclipses it. Think ..22-250, .243, .25-06, 6.5, 6.8 SPC, .270, .308, .30-06, .338, .375, .416, .45-70, .458 mags for roughly 1600-6500 FPE.

          My other point is this: calling the .223 / 5.56 a “high powered rifle” lends credence to the many idiots who already think that the .223 / 5.56 class is “too powerful” for civilian use. That would make the .30-30 / .308s and .30-06 even more “ridiculously overpowered” for civilian use. There is not much in the way of what “high powered” means, but it is very clear that antis around the world want to ban it.

  3. Yes, well we all know how all those laws against private weapons worked in Ireland in the past, don’t we?

    “Gun control – it’s not just the law, it doesn’t work.”

  4. RF, you are correct Sir, New Zealand is not quite this bad yet, Australia is lost as is the UK, I thank God that I can now call myself an American.

    • Welcome to the good old U.S. of A. Ross. Keep in mind that the United States has the worst government in the world, except for all the other countries. (paraphrase from Benjamin Franklin)

      Please use your new found citizenship and freedom to to fight for liberty.

  5. I’m sure that Ireland’s standards are regarded as an admirable model for many of the pathetic, socialist-sympathizing bastards here in the states.

  6. This is why there are probably thousands of FALs, AKs, Enfields, etc. buried all across Scotland and Ireland.

    • Sterlings, Lanchesters, Stens, Brens, Webleys, 1911s, BHPs, and any number of other bringbacks are also very likely.

      Sterlings are discovered with hilarious frequency, as are FALs.

      • Whatever they are, this is absolutely true. Caches of guns are discovered in Ireland all the time. Not with any specific people tied to them, either. Just “Oh look, we found some guns. Again.”

        I subscribe to some Google news alerts that come once or twice a day to help provide tips for posts, and it’s rare that a week goes by without a couple “a pile of ammo and some guns were discovered in Ireland” stories.

  7. They have strict gun control in The Irish Republic and Northern Ireland, and how many people have been shot with AK47s, Armalites, Thopsons and Barret .50s? Oh and an occasional bomb.
    Northern Ireland is one part of the UK where you can own handguns and the Police always carry handguns, and very often rifles, They are British Police just like guy inLondon

  8. “This was organised according to the rules of the Civilian Marksmanship Programme (CMP), an American programme originally developed to train civilians in the use of weapons so they could be called upon in times of war.”

    I guess in time of war, they’ll hand everyone a single shot bolt action rifle.

  9. So by my count,it took five replys to turn this post in to a caliber debate. Tall about missing the mark…

    • The caliber is part of the reason for the original restrictions, and is therefore relevant to the central issue.

  10. They both fit the look and profile of a so called assault weapon. These people are as stupid as the anti gun nuts here.

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