Guns are not meant for defending property against burglars, says Portlaoise Garda Inspector Aidan Farrelly.
He was asked by Mountmellick Cllr Bobby Delaney on what level of force is permitted when defending property against a thief, during the Joint Policing Committee meeting in the town.
“I do often hear people telling me ‘I have to keep a gun’, it is a very thorny subject. You can defend your own house, property and well being, but you can only use so much force. Would you be discouraging anyone, are they liable to committing an assault?” Cllr Delaney asked.
“A licenced firearm is not for that purpose, not for the defence of property. It is issued for specific purposes, that is not one of them,” Insp Farrelly said.
The defence of property act was enacted in 2012.
It states that if it is believed “the other person has entered or is entering the dwelling as a trespasser for the purpose of committing a criminal act” the owner may use “only such force as is reasonable in the circumstances” to protect themselves, another person, or their property.