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FIREARMS UNITED’s Answers to EU

On our BACKGROUND page we list all interesting informations and arguments against the EU gunban. Feel free to read our reports and answers and use the arguments when you write to or call your politician or talk to a journalist.

Ours answers to EU

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European Commission: Banning bullets – do it for the Birds!

Trying to ban guns was not successful – next: Ban on bullets!

EU Commission has asked ECHA (European Chemical Agency) to conduct study and consultation to ban lead bullets. [1] To avoid mistakes done with misguided firearms directive, like missing impact assessment, they have started a public consultation for restrictions of Lead in shot in wetlands AND ”Any other uses of lead ammunition (than lead in shot in wetlands), including hunting in other terrains than wetlands and target shooting. Lead weights for fishing.”

According to their statement ”Modern lead-free ’gunshot cartriges, such as steel cartridges, are suitable for all types of hunting in wetlands and are widely available.”

In other words, EU is currently asking for public feedback on commission plan to ban lead (and copper) on ammunition – using the environment as an excuse.

The attempt to ban concerns [2] ammunition which contains lead in concentrations greater than 1% by weight, for shooting with a shot gun within a wetland or where spent gunshot would land within a wetland, including shooting ranges or shooting grounds in wetlands. And in addition there is another parallel study on restriction on ”other ammunition” meaning lead-based rifle and pistol ammunition. In other words – pretty much all ammunition.

Problem 1:
The definition used for defining the wetland is the following [1]
“areas of marsh, fen, peatland or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salt, including areas of marine water the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six metres”.

The Ramsar definition of wetlands is a comprehensive and internationally recognised definition but it means that lead bullets will be banned up to 24,3% of surface area in for example Sweden.

Problem 2:
All current rifles would not be usable anymore. This includes pistols as well. Long range shooting would become impossible for civilians. This is because for any kind of accuracy bullet stability is essential. The issue comes from barrel twist, which is usually calculated with Millers formula which is slightly improved version of classical Greenhill formula, which indicates that bullet material density matters – when for example calculating values for .308, for which barrel twist is usually 12 inches with traditional lead ammunition, corresponding rifle twist for example copper bullets would be about 9,5 inches. This means that your expensive rifle just became unsuitable for ammunition currently available.

Problem 3:
In addition to this – its not only hunters who are going to be royally shafted with this restriction:
It pretty much makes sportshooting impossible by banning .22 ammunition, which we all know is mostly lead.

Problem 4:
Steel, which is considered to be suitable ”cheap” enough alternative wears out barrels like there is no tomorrow.

Problem 5:
It is also classified in many countries as armor piercing round material, which means steel bullets are banned.

Problem 6:
Not all shotguns are rated for steel shots. The hunters would have to in some cases buy new shotguns.

According to commission, all of this is ok, because it provides ”Increased (long-term) opportunitiesfor birdwatching.” [2]

Solution:

The public consultation on this proposed restriction will start on 21 June 2017 and end on 21 December 2017, which means that YOU should provide feedback as soon as possible to by reading and providing information according to document [2] .

It is of utmost importance to get involved in this, both on as individuals, and as hunting and sport-shooting organizations because, ECHA considers only the environmental perspective – which according to past does not pain a pretty picture.

For example banning of copper shots has been already proposed. The biggest problem, according to our sources is that at the moment is that for example Danmarks Jaegerforbund lobbies hard for banning lead ammunition by sending out strong signal that lead can be replaced easily in all ammunition, including .22. In addition to this, they claimed that NORMA is already researching steel ammunition for other calibers for civilian market. According to ECHA, there should be zero-tolerance for lead, which means most likely long term campaign

What can I do:

– Spread information. Get your own hunting and sport shooting association to participate and provide their statement for the public consultation! Provide statement as an individual. Clock is ticking!

Would you like to know more?
Check our partner Gunsweek’s article about this particular topic:

https://www.gunsweek.com/en/current/news/lead-ammo-ban-eu-it-again

References:

[1] https://echa.europa.eu/fi/addressing-chemicals-of-concern/restriction/echas-activities-on-restrictions/current-activites-on-restrictions

[2] Public Consultation:
https://echa.europa.eu/documents/10162/d7fb96cf-7956-7406-3568-399ca20151e0

[3] https://www.gunsweek.com/en/current/news/lead-ammo-ban-eu-it-again

Picture: Courtesy of Gunsweek

National Implementation: Norway Banning Semi-automatics!

According to rumours, now confirmed by an article [1], the Norwegian Government wants to ban semi-automatics from civilian use as a national implementation of the firearms directive. At the moment, the proposal concerns “semi-automatic rifles of the kind used by the police and the Armed Forces”, not describing whether it is all semiautomatics, or semiautomatic weapons which have been converted from automatic weapons.

(Note from the editor: We know. Semi-automatic is semi-automatic, and it does not make it more dangerous if it has once been an automatic – except in the eyes of the EU-commission.)

“The prohibition will also apply to those who have already been granted permission to own such weapons”, if true, means that the Norwegian government is flying solo here – thanks to hard lobbying done by the firearms owners and activists, the EU directive explicitly states that member states can continue the existing permits – should they choose to do so.

According to VG the bill was presented by Justice Minister Per Willy Amundsen (Frp) on Friday. Prime Minister Erna Solberg tells VG that there are weapons with large magazines and big firepower that is now going out of civilian hands. With her quote “As a hunter, you do not need more than five shots. Then there will be a small group that is allowed to acquire such weapons, and there will be elite shooters at the international level using such weapons in competition” Solberg demonstrates both lack of understanding how things work in this other reality which we all others share: you can not become “international elite shooter” unless you practice. This is not cross-country-skiing where little push from sports medicine can get you to the top.

It seems that Norway plans extending some exceptions to active athletes and collectors, but judging by several references to “22nd of July” reveal her real idealistic motives even before she blurts it out “We saw July 22 how fast you can shoot many and how difficult it is to get away when someone can shoot with 25 shots. To me, it’s an argument for why this type should not be allowed” she says.

All in all, the article does not have all the facts, at least with the accuracy anyone understanding anything about firearms would like to see, so we suggest following this topic closely.

In worst case, this spells end of IPSC in Norway, because as stated earlier, only perfect practice makes perfect.

If you are part of the firearms community in Norway and hear more, please contact Firearms United and let us know exactly what you know. Because when you put tiny shards of intel from several sources together full picture often emerges.

[1] http://www.vg.no/nyheter/innenriks/solberg-regjeringen/regjeringen-vil-forby-halvautomatiske-haandvaapen/a/24131389/

The Czech Have Challenged the Faulty Firearms Directive in Court!

This just in: Czech Republic Legal Action confirmed!

Now it is official – The misguided firearms directive will be challenged in the ECJ (European Court of Justice) [1]

The Czech ministry of Interior has filed a suit 9th of August to prevent the implementation of the EU Firearms Directive, which would help the national authorities of the Member States to not implement the already faulty directive on national level.

The Czech are requesting both suspension of national implementation for the duration of the legal action (which might take months, best case years) and complete dismissal of the firearms directive.

According to Czech Interior Minister Milan Chovanec “Such a massive punishment of decent arms holders is unacceptable, because banning legally-held weapons has no connection with the fight against terrorism. This is not only a nonsensical decision once again undermining people’s trust in the EU, but implementing the directive could also have a negative impact on the internal security of the Czech Republic, because a large number of weapons could move to the black market.”

Firearms United completely and totally agrees with the statement above.

The Czech Republic quotes a total of four grounds for repeal of the Directive: [2]

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Swedish Minister of Interior was fired yesterday – and You should be happy about it!

Swedish Minister of Interior Anders Ygeman [1] was fired yesterday – and You should be happy about it!

But why should you care?

Well, mr Ygeman has been rabid anti-gunner and has used his favourite phrase “We must consider public safety!” to hammer law abiding citizens with further restrictions on legal gun ownership and has alledgedly worked hard to hammer through further restrictions from EU level down to the member states.

Actually “We must consider public safety!” were the Anders Ygeman’s famous words as he allowed the civil servants Lars Hänninger and Peter Thorsell, two now well known individuals in the gun community, ignore the mandate given to them by the Swedish Parliament in the negotiations in GENVAL regarding the EU’s Firearms Directive and opted for even harder restrictions for law abiding citizens.

Luckily for us, these words took another meaning when the scandal regarding the Swedish Transport Agency was unveiled. Even though Minister of Interior Ygeman had knowledge about the potentially biggest security breech in Swedish history he failed to inform the Prime minister about it, triggering a major political crisis as the political opposition announced that they would file a vote of non-confidence.

This resulted the political downfall of Mr Ygeman as he was fired from his position as Minister of Interior by Prime minister Stefan Löfvén, much to the rejoicement of law abiding Swedish gun owners.

As we all know, according to statistics, the more firearms there are in circulation in the hands of the law abiding citizens, the more safe the society is and the less crime there is. However, this must have been the wrong kind of “public safety” for mr Ygeman.

Now, get a bottle of champagne (or your favourite beverage) and raise a toast to the downfall of Mr Ygeman.

Raise your class to the public safety!

PS – According to the news he will still receive 1,5 million Swedish crowns as a severance package, and a seat in the next cabinet, should his party win the election.

Featured Picture: Wikipedia

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anders_Ygeman

[2] http://www.expressen.se/dinapengar/miljonregn-over-ministrar-som-lamnar-lofvens-regering/

#EUGunban

Firearms United is going to Supreme Court – In Sweden!

The Swedish authorities have been very active when it comes to making life hard for citizens practising IPSC-shooting or other dynamic shooting disciplines that require semiautomatic modern sporting rifles. [1][2]

Several Swedish authorities have been running a campaign for quite some time to ban and restrict the ownership of semiautomatic firearms and for example the previous EU Gunban of 2013 [3] was orchestrated and driven by Swedish Commisioner Cecilia Malmström, supported by shady authorities making up the rules and ”facts” on the fly. Firerams United was originally founded to counter this outrageous and unjustified attack on civil liberties.

We have also heard that Swedish authorities have already denied at least three permits for sport shooters on grounds of the EU Firearms directive – which had not been even finished at the time, let alone in effect.

One common practice is also the misuse of tax payers funds by taking things to court – most of the time the sport shooters win the case and get their permits, and case is conveniently forgotten, but when authorities win a case, it comes a precedent which is used by the authorities to deny permits in the future. [1]

When the latest round of firearms directive was discussed, Sweden sent their best experts in banning firearms to offer their ideologically coloured expertise and push for a stricter firearms directive. In other words, their agenda is now pushed over the Swedish borders and we have had enough of this now.

Firearms United is supporting financially the Swedish shooters to take things to supreme court and put an end to this nonsense.

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Czech to approve “2nd Amendment” as a first Country in Europe?

The campaign of the Czech is moving forward.

In the Czech Republic the Czech Parliament was discussing before a final vote about constitutional right to keep and bear arms on Wednesday.

The experts expected a that the result would be too close to call, but fortunately the proposal was passed with rather clear numbers:

139 Yes,

9 No,

20 empty.

The change in legislation required 120 votes, so the proposal was passed with 19 votes to spare. [1] Next step is to get the proposal through the senate, but the odds are stacked considerably better to favour civil liberties than in the parliament.

This proposal and the potential impacts of the EU firearms directive were discussed extensively in a conference organized in the Cevro Institute in Prague by LEX (Czech office of the Firearms United), where the best experts were present to answer the questions of the concerned Czech citizens. [2]

What does all this mean then?

The EU law overrides the constitution of a member state when there is conflict between European law and the law of Member States, European law prevails; the norms of national law have to be set aside. According to EU at least. Many of the member states do not see this as black-and-white as the EU, and reserve the right to interpret legislation when there is a conflict. However, we have observed during a last year and half that passing an EU directive gets that much more complicated when it is in violation of the national law. For example many member states (France excluded!) have constitution that reserves a right a right to have private property, and seizing it without compensation gets really challenging legally – as it should, because it would be called theft if anyone but the government would be doing it.

This means that due to the campaign by the Czech, come the next review of the firearms directive, scheduled 5 years from now, the European commission has one more hurdle to overcome before confiscating your private property without compensation.

The campaign for the RKBA in Czech is a shining example on how the national legislation and civil liberties can be enhanced when the officials and the firearms enthusiasts who are subject matter experts work together.

Stay tuned!

[1] https://www.novinky.cz/domaci/442097-lide-budou-mit-pravo-pouzit-zbran-k-obrane-statu-rozhodla-snemovna.html

[2] http://cevroinstitut.cz/en/action/czech-republic-as-a-central-european-texas/

 

Hands off Swiss firearms law

The “Hands off Swiss firearms law” initiative is a privately funded and organized movement. Founded in mid-2016 by Patrick Jauch, it pursues its goal to inform all stakeholders about the consequences of the Schengen related adoption of the EU Firearms Directive in an unbiased, independent fashion – and to form a strong and united opposition to it. “Hands of Swiss firearms law” managed to reach nationwide awareness across Switzerland through its strong presence, clear statements and high quality publications.

Link: https://www.finger-weg-vom-schweizer-waffenrecht.ch/

National Implementation – what now?

Now that the firearms directive has passed through the council (25th of April, 2017) what is race to the national implementation.

The hard lobbying work done by Firearms United, and its associates, and the information and feedback that you have sent and mailed to your MEPs resulted in numerous exceptions, which are left up to national authorities (and stakeholders) to implement.

The exception for military reserve, for example provides local authorities pretty much free hands to ensure that whatever kind of firearms are available to whatever the local authorities define to be military reserve. This could (theoretically) mean anything from free machine guns to everybody and their mother to for example some locally define group of reservists being exempt from magazine restrictions – and of course this exception only works in countries where one actually has a military reserve.

The exception that can be used more widely is the sport shooters exception – which has also some wiggle-room. For example, how do the local authorities define a sport which needs a normal capacity magazine, thus ensuring a sportshooter being exempt from magazine restrictions? Is it just for the lucky individuals involved in the IPSC who are exempt? Or is it everyone, who has a gun permit issued for sportshooting, so that sport shooter can practice multiple different disciplines?

This means in practice that it is very important to ensure that the sport exception applies for as large group of people as possible. And this is something that you can help with. In many countries stakeholders (sport shooting clubs for example) are consulted regarding the implementation before the law is passed.

It means that you and your club should be really active, check the local translation of the firearms directive in case of any translation mishaps and then be really active when stakeholders are consulted to ensure that as wide group of firearms enthusiasts are covered by the exceptions.

 

#Swedish vehicle attack: It wasn’t a question of if but when..

Yesterdays tragedy in Stockholm was a surreal awakening that the Sweden of old is since long gone. As such this attack upon Swedish society was just a question about when and not if?

Sweden has before been the target for Islamic terrorism, the Christmas of 2010 when the islamic militant Taimour Abdulwahab from Tranås, who had become radicalized in Luton, that is infamous as a holdout for islamic radicals, blew himself up in central Stockholm in the midst of people doing their Christmas shopping. However Abdulwahab only succeded in killing himself and perhaps due the lack of other killed Sweden continued it’s apologetic stance towards radical interpretations of Islam. The fear of being labeled as islamophobic and racist is very much a reality in Swedish public life.

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