A Polish man who had carried an air pistol in his luggage across Europe and brought it into Ireland appeared at Dundalk Court last Wednesday charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition.The defendant is Piotr Kazmierczak, College Heights, Hoeys Lane, Dundalk and the offence were said to have occurred on March 6 last year.
Inspector Martin Beggy told the court that Gardai had gone to the defendant’s address and he had invited them in. This followed complaints by Mr Kazmierczak about problems with intoxication in the area.
He said that Gardai suspected the defendant may have had a firearm, “an airsoft rifle” and he surrendered it on the spot. The rifle had a “dual marking” of 17 and any weapon with a dual marking of more than one was considered a firearm in this country.
He had bought it in Poland and brought it through Poland, Germany and France and was of the opinion it was legal here, too. The inspector said the weapon had been examined and had been defined as a firearm under the law. It was capable of firing lead pellets.
A solicitor for defendant said that it was an air rifle, “nothing more than that” and this sort of weapon was freely available in Poland.
He had been stopped by police in France and they had examined it and let him go. His client had arrived in Ireland in 2005. His wife had passed away seven weeks ago and he was asking the judge to apply the Probation Offenders Act to the case.
Judge Flann Brennan found the facts proven and dismissed the charge. He ordered confiscation of the gun and ammunition.