Monthly Archives: October 2016

UN’s Hypocrisy on Arms

Guns Week asked this week, if  the outcome of the U.S. Presidential elections could have repercussions on the European fight against senseless gun control measures and if the  victory of the anti-gunners in the U.S. could provide new strength to the anti-gunners in Europe.

Read more: Gun Ban: US and EU, two shores of one same dividing Ocean

The US plays a big role at the UN, NATO and therefore also in the EU. From New York come the ones that wrote the “Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition“, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. That startet in 2000 and resulted in the changes to the firearms directive in 2008 in Brussels. From New York (UN) comes also the “Action Plan on Small Arms and Light Weapons” that is still used as an excuse to ban things.

Since 2010 I am following the worldwide Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) and what is happening in Yemen. The ATT has a big impact on the trade and ownership of civilian firearms and I was curious what would be its impact to Yemen, a very poor country with the most civilian firearms after the US, followed by Switzerland.

Is smuggling of heavy arms to war zones like Yeman topic of the ATT?

You would have expected that blocking transfers of heavy arms to war zones would be high on the agenda. But it was not!

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Hildebrandt&Madon: Interview with Pia Clerté & Erik Lakomaa

Journalist Johanne Hildebrandt, columnist Sakine Madon and reporter Annica Ögren starting a YouTube channel (Hildebrandt&Madon) to make room for new perspectives and voices which are not being heard by mainstream.

In September they interviewed well known dynamic sportshooter Pia Clerté and Stockholm School of Economics researcher Erik Lakomaa regarding the Firearms Directive.

EU’s weapons Directive wants to make it difficult for terrorists and criminals to obtain weapons. But in Sweden it hits hard only marksmen and hunters – law-abiding gun owners.
Pia Clerté will not be able to practice her sport if the directive goes through.
Researcher Erik Lakomaa says that politicians and officials are not guided by facts, and that the weapons criminals use are smuggled in from the Balkans.
“The only way to stop them is to focus on border controls.”

View the interview with English subtitles on YouTube or read our transcript:

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Finnish Organizations Issue a joint statement about firearms directive

Finnish organizations have together issued a joint statement to Vicky Ford, the shadow rapporteurs and to the trilogue-participating members of the Commission about the firearms directive proposal:

Dear Ms. Ford and the rapporteurs for the firearms directive:

First of all, we would like to sincerely thank you for the great work you have done so far to improve the technically misguided directive-draft 91/477/EEC Control of the acquisition and possession of weapons presented by the commission. The hard work you have done has not gone unnoticed among the hunters, sport shooters, firearms collectors, reservists and recreational shooters.

We, the undersigned organizations in Finland represent over 600 000 law-abiding firearms owners that have been following the process closely. Even though the current draft is better than the original, it still leaves some room for improvement. We have observed that the process and the proposal of the commission has already shifted the opinions of firearms owners towards euroscepticism and we wish that we would work together to prevent this from becoming a major trend among the citizens.

Currently the following parts of the proposal are generally viewed as unfounded:

  • Magazine restrictions have been tried before, but they have not had any impact on security merely harassment of law-abiding shooters.
  • Firearms categorization by non-technical criteria makes unambiguous interpretation of law impossible.
  • Length restrictions

The criteria above do not make firearm any more or less dangerous, and based on material we have seen so far, the proposal is not supported by facts or statistics, but instead driven by ideological reasons – which should not be the case in legislation.

We are also concerned about the mandatory maximum duration of firearms permit. Finland is a small country and the resources of our authorities are already stretched quite thin to maintain public security. Periodic renewal process would force government to allocate more resources into maintaining the permits which means diverting the resources and budget away from real problem, preventing the movement of the illegal firearms. A major problem these days is the lack of resources of the law enforcement for solving real crimes.

We wish you all the best of luck for the ongoing trilogues and sincerely hope that you can address the points listed above. We are also willing to support you in this process with free technical consultation. Please advise us how we can best be of assistance. Our liaisons in this matter are …

The statement above was signed pretty much by all significant associations, including hunters, firearms dealers, sport shooters, reserve organizations, firearms collectors and even air gunners, as well as FIREARMS UNITED.

finnish-against-eugunban

Commission wants #EUGunban says Council

Austrian Parliament published the latest news of the Council – we copied the sections regarding firearms and explosives. The most important sentences in red:

It is important to reach an agreement before the end of the year.

The Commission will continue to urge the colegislators to maintain the level of ambition, particularly the objective to ban the most dangerous semi-automatic firearms.

The document is titled:

First progress report towards an effective and genuine Security Union

II. STRENGTHENING OUR FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISM AND ORGANISED CRIME, AND MEANS TO SUPPORT THEM

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Firearms Directive Conference

Brussels – 16/11/2016
2:30 – 5:00 pm
Conference at the European Parliament

During this conference we will evaluate the impact on illicit traffickers, private owners and on the civilian market, as well as the dangerousness of some types of firearms and the sources for the illicit market.

The European Commission published a proposal to amend the Firearms Directive within a week of the heinous terrorist attacks in Paris in which illegal weapons were used. Its response was to propose sweeping bans and confiscation aimed at several categories of firearms that are in legal possession by law abiding citizens. Claiming urgency, the European Commission proposed these contentious measures without any impact assessment. However the ill-conceived proposal has come under fire and the discussions have dragged on for more than twelve months. Meanwhile the talks in the Trilogue will continue for several more months.

It is time to discuss proposal’s impact!

Read more information in your language:

English :  Firearms Directive Conference

Deutsch: Feuerwaffen Konferenz in Brüssel

Polski: Konferencja nt. Dyrektywy o Broni Palnej

Suomi: ASEDIREKTIIVI 2016: Konferenssi Euroopan parlamentissa

tbc

They need to hear YOU

As the first round of trialogue is over, the final form of new Firearms Directive is becoming more clear. Much of its nonsense, such as registration of harmless replicas or destruction of valuable and historically significant firearms in collections, was removed. This is especially thanks to the diligent work of many MEPs in the IMCO committee, and also to many experts in the field in addition to many countless individuals petitioning their representatives.

Recent tragedies highlighted the real problems, like insufficient rules for alarm weapons or security of distance trade with firearms, and these same people reworked knee-jerk bans proposed by the European Commission into reasonable and workable rules.

However, there’s still certain major infringement on rights of law-abiding firearms owners. Even when legal owners of semi-automatic firearms followed all laws and are at no fault in regard to causes of terrorism and crime, anti-rights powers-that-be within the EU still demand their demonstrative punishment for crimes caused by terrorists and criminals. Continue reading

FIREARMS UNITED ITALIA Supports Borgioni as Next UITS President

THE ITALIAN CHAPTER OF FIREARMS UNITED SUPPORTS MR. PIERLUIGI BORGIONI IN HIS BID AS THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE ITALIAN UNION OF SHOOTING RANGES (UITS)

What you are reading here is the result of a lengthy and troubled internal dialogue within our confederation; it was not an easy decision to make, but given the current situation, we think it was the only sensible thing to do.

We know all too well that this may be an unpopular decision and that some followers may decide to separate from us after it – but we don’t really care about that: the swift deterioration of the situation left us with no other choices.

We know we are doing the good thing by stating that Mr. Pierluigi Borgioni – the candidate of the Alternativa UITS committee – is the one we would want to see as a replacement of the incumbent Eng. Ernfried Obrist as the next President of the Italian Union of Shooting Ranges (UITS).

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What Kind of Firearms Directive could Emerge from the Trilogue?

It has been stated many times, that in trilogues the Council and the Parliament try to find a common tune and reach a compromise, a firearms directive proposal accepted by both parties. It means, for both sides, some compromises but what are the current positions for the Council and the Parliament?

Since trilogue is a closed process, we can not provide a list of talking points during trilogue, but if we could, it would look like something we have listed below – and from the points below you can – if nothing changes – create your own prediction of the possible outcome:

  1. Will the directive apply to military reserve and voluntary defense organizations?
  2. Markings on firearms
  3. Authorization and medical review
  4. Collectors and museums
  5. Excemptions
  6. Magazines
  7. Firearms passport
  8. Transitional period
  9. Annex-1 (Categorization)
    • Demilitarized firearms (converted to semiautomatic)
    • Long firearms that can be shortened to less than 600 mm with telescoping or folding stock
    • Semiautomatic firearms that resemble automatic weapons
    • Possession of magazines

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salami-tactic

IMCO’s Statement of First Trilogue Meeting

On 29th of September Vicky Ford (Rapporteur, ECR) and Anna Maria Corazza Bildt (Shadow Rapporteur, EPP) gave an update on the trialogue for the amendments of the Firearms Directive. You can follow her speech in this webstream at the beginning of the meeting during the first seven minutes.

imco-trialog-web

Links to webstream: here or here

Read more: summary of her speech and our opinion

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