Pistol crossbows seized from Limerick city shop

TWENTY pistol crossbows were seized during a raid of a shop on Foxes Bow, Limerick District Court has heard.

TWENTY pistol crossbows were seized during a raid of a shop on Foxes Bow, Limerick District Court has heard.

The shop owner, Bertie Coffey, admitted selling the weapons even though he was not a registered firearms dealer.

The court was told that Mr Coffey, 38, of Lios Rua, Tralee, did not know that he needed a licence to sell the pistol crossbows.

The self cocking pistol crossbows were for sale in the shop for €75.

The garda raid on the Brightside store on Foxes Bow took place at 12.30pm on July 21, 2009. The premises was searched under warrant and 20 crossbows, some of which were on display for sale in the shop, were seized.

The accused man pleaded guilty to possession of crossbows without a certificate contrary to Section 2 of the Firearms Offences Act, and selling firearms while not being a registered dealer contrary to Section 10 of the same act.

Solicitor Ted McCarthy on Mr Coffey's behalf, said his client did not know it was illegal to sell the items which he had sourced from a supplier in England.

"How can I reconcile that with the fact that he has previous convictions for firearm offences?" Judge Tom O'Donnell asked.

The solicitor told the court that Mr Coffey was offered back some of the items seized by the state but he didn't want them back because he is no longer in that business.

Judge O'Donnell took into account his guilty plea and imposed a fine of €250 on the Section 10 offence, taking the Section 2 offence into consideration.