20 Nov 2008

Ireland to ban handguns

8:02 am on 20 November 2008

Ireland is to ban handguns after the number of licences issued for the weapons in society mushroomed in recent years.

The ban will be included in new legislation being prepared by justice ministry officials.

In the early 1970s, as violence escalated in British-ruled Northern Ireland, all handguns in Ireland were called in and the holding of any handgun was banned until 2004.

But following a series of judicial decisions, that is no longer the case and about 1800 handguns have been licensed to date.

Justice Minister Dermot Ahern said the number in three years.