Fianna Fáil will this week introduce new legislation imposing a mandatory minimum 12 months custodial sentence for illegally carrying a knife in public place.
The legislation would enable a significant escalation in the effort to tackle knife crime across the country.
Fianna Fáil’s Justice Spokesperson Niall Collins TD commented, “A sub culture has developed among sections of our society, where carrying knives has become common place. It is a sub culture that is destroying lives. Just last year 19 people were killed with knives, a 60% jump on the previous year.
“Knife crime is a scourge in our country and it needs an unequivocal response. The message needs to go out that if you carry a knife illegally in Ireland, you are committing a major crime and it will not be tolerated.
“For that reason, Fianna Fáil will this week introduce the Knife Possession Bill. This short piece of legislation amends the Firearms and Offensive Weapons Act 1990, introducing a mandatory minimum sentence of 12 months for anyone convicted of carrying a knife illegally in a public place.
“The purpose of this Fianna Fáil legislation is preventative. Rather than deal with any further increase in the list of people killed with knives, we want to help Gardaí take illegal knives out of circulation in the first place.
“This legislation can help this effort and we are hopeful that deputies from all parties can get behind it.”