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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.

There is a case currently ongoing, which is widely known among the shooters in Sweden. A sport shooter has applied permit for modern semiautomatic sporting rifle for a sport called ”free rifle” which was denied by the authorities because the sport is practiced on club level and does not have authorized international organization behind it. The defendant has won in court already once, and now the case is going to the supreme court.

The stakes are high:
If authorities win, they can dictate which firearms are ok to use and which are not. It is probably end of the IPSC in Sweden as we know it. Actually, if authorities win, they would have a capability to dictate which forms of sport would approved in Sweden, and which are not.

To put it simply, we do not want the future of for example IPSC in Sweden be in the hands of an person who has stated about IPSC “If they want to play war they can take up paintball” and who has stated in court that scopes of high magnification, weapon lights and picatinny rails should be only allowed for police and military use.

If the free citizens win, they will have a powerful precedent on their side.

As usual, the authorities (mis)using tax payer funds so there is no end to their war chest. Swedish shooters have been running a campaign to fund the fight which might cost as much as 20 000 €, and have collected 90% of the sum. Firearms United will provide the missing 2000 € to fill the war chest and support taking the fight back to the authorities.

Why?

a) As a principle, this case is of utmost importance for the future of civilian firearms ownership in Sweden, as the police authority may severely limit it, should they win the case.

b) Swedish sport shooters have been very active in Firearms United.

c) Authorities can not make rules up as they go.

d) Payback. Opportunity for payback for everything since the Firearms Directive update in 2013.

Time to fight back!

United we stand, divided we fall.

* Clarification: Firearms United is not involved in the case in any other way than that we are following the process and that we decided to donate to the cause. To donate is open to anyone that want to support the cause. Why we decided to donate stands clear in the text above, principally this is a very important case. The text above is to be seen as an explanation and justification to our followers and donors as to why we decided to donate. And to why this case is so important that we decided to support an individual case. Which we normally don’t do.

The donation comes from Firearms United Fighting Fund which was funded by firearms enthusiasts during our common fight against EU directive.

 

[1] https://firearms-united.com/something-rotten-kingdom-sweden-spreading-part-1/

[2] https://firearms-united.com/something-rotten-kingdom-sweden-part-2/

[3] http://www.dw.com/en/eus-malmstroem-pushes-for-tougher-unified-european-gun-laws/a-17170795

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/

 

#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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The Voting Day is approaching!

Situation update:

As we have indicated earlier the European Parliament will vote on the firearms directive on 14th of March.

Firearms United staff has worked overtime to provide you with the summary of the current situation:

The voting will work with the following principle if it follows the standard protocol: First there is a majority vote on whether the current compromise (with all the magazine restrictions etc) is approved or not, and if not, then the voting will proceed with the proposed amendments, which there are 166 (!!!)

You can find all the amendments from here:
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/plenary/en/report-details.html?reference=A8-0251-2016

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“Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made”

The EU-decision making process is a complex one. Firearms United has been following the EU legislation process up close and personal since the day ill-conceived proposal from the commission saw the light of day, and based on what we have seen, Otto von Bismarck was right when he (allegedly) said: Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made.

The “Trilogue” is still ongoing and we are now in the phase called: “First Reading”

That is where in a nutshell The European Parliament examines the Commission’s proposal and may:

  • adopt it or
  • introduce amendments to it

After that the Council may:

  • decide to accept the Parliament’s position: in such a case the legislative act is adopted
  • amend the Parliament’s position: the proposal is returned to the Parliament for a second reading

What ACTUALLY really happened so far was that in council France, Germany, Italy and Spain did some shady dealing in backstage and sent a veiled threat in the letter and thus heavily dictated the Council position to which some improvements were pushed in by some countries (FI, CZ, etc).

During that time, the parliament examined the proposal, noticed that it was “unworkable” (We have to agree with the rapporteurs on this one!). Some 900 or so amendmends were made, some voted in – some left out – but in the end we had parliament position. In the trilogue meetings during autumn, a compromise – which we described and published earlier – was reached.

This brings us to present day – The key parts of the proposal are still unfinished (the ones that got this mess started in the first place – deactivation rules) and the parliament is due to vote on the proposal in March – over month before the new deactivation rule proposal is even returning from comments round.

Now two things may happen – either proposal is approved or amended, which brings us to

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EP DID NOT BLOCK OUR WEBSITE – We apologise for the misinformation!

Dear supporters!

We really do our best to provide you with verifiable and correct information, unfortunately due to a manipulation error we posted something we shouldn’t have. Let us explain what happened. A few weeks ago there was a news article in a Polish newspaper which stated that the website of Firearms United was blocked on the network of the European parliament. So a draft article/translation was made so we could within Firearms United check the claims properly before publishing it. Unfortunately at some point the wrong button was pressed and this got published without us realizing this immediately.

Just to be clear our website is NOT blocked in the European parliament or the European Commission, and thus MEP’s do have full access to the information provided by us.

Rest assured that we do everything possible to provide you with correct information, and therefore we are deeply sorry a mistake happened. We would thus like to apologize for any misunderstandings.

Your team of Firearms United

IMCO Vote on 26/01/2017

Tomorrow between 10:00 and 12:30 the comittee IMCO will vote on the compromise of the trilogue. We assume there will be a short debate before the vote  – as usual.

You can download the paper (only in English) here: Click

Again – as in summer 2016 – the Member of IMCO have only an English text to vote on. Again – as in summer 2016 – the paper has been published only some days (20/01/17) before the vote. And we assume – as in summer2016 – the majority will agree to the compromise.

You can see more here: Link to IMCO

You may follow the vote on webstream: LINK

FIREARMS UNITED worked on the compromise the last weeks, visited MEPs in Brussels and our staff is in contacts with several MEPs by email and telephone.

We concentrate our work on these six points:

  1. Collectors, museum & firearms of interest
  2. Loading devices & re-categorization of semi-automatic rifles
  3. Long firearms with folding or removable stocks
  4. Automatic firearms converted to semi-automatic
  5. The Sport Shooters’ exemption & Firearms Pass
  6. Retaining category “D” for 3 groups of firearms

Of course there is no evidence at all to amend the directive. Of course the only rational decision should be rejection of the proposal as well as of the compromise. But as Vicky Ford and Jussi Halla-Aho stated on our conference in November: there is no majority for rejection, most politicians are not interested in this subject and want “to do something against terrorism”. As most politicians do not own guns and don’t know gun owners it is easy for them to ban things they do not “need”.

FIREARMS UNITED will do its very best to change the point of view of the uninterested politicians with facts. “To do something” against legal gun owners is not the best solution in the combat against illicit trafficking of firearms and against terrorism and crime.

You may support our fight by calling the local offices of your MEPs by phone. You can use our impact assessment for arguments. We sent the short version by letter to all MEPs in November.

Be polite! We are not the “aggressive gunlobby” but law abiding citizens who will vote.

About proposed change of Czech Constitutional law

Since there’s much misunderstanding, especially in foreign media, about meaning and purpose of recently proposed change of our Constitutional law to introduce citizens’ right to acquire, possess and carry firearms, I feel appropriate to correct these misinterpretations.

LEX answers the following questions:

  • Is it a “terrorist hunting permit”?
  • Is it a proposal for unlimited possession and carrying of firearms?
  • Are Czechs going to substitute their armed forces with armed citizens?
  • Do Czech people want to establish private armies?

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Malta Firearms Conference – Sending the Message!

The Conference organized by FESAC, AACTS, AMACS and Firearms United in Malta has attracted media attention – in addition to hall full of firearms enthusiasts and foreign guests from many organizations in Europe!

Nothing in the directive is yet settled, and even the trilogue is still formally ongoing before the parliament approves the current “compromise”. Malta is in key position, because they are taking over EU presidency for the next six months and one of the more challenging areas is the new firearms directive proposal, so the conference was an excellent event, where the message from the shooters was sent to the authorities – loud and clear.

The Maltese organizations spared no effort or expense setting up the conference on saturday, and as you can see from the pictures, they had even organized an exhibit where they showed priceless historical artifacts that were originally sentenced to be destroyed by the commission.

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Intense lobbying by FIREARMS UNITED?

EU Observer publishes the most biased article about the EU Gunban that we have read in the last week: EU reaches deal on contested gun laws by  (20/12/2016)

You are invited to read our point-by-point reply to this diatribe:

Much of the debate has been overshadowed by intense lobbying from pro-gun groups. They argue that current rules are good enough and that the problem is that some EU states are not applying them.

Pro-gun groups get not paid by the “gun lobby”. They work unsalaried for their own interest.

The choice of words is purposely intended to project us a “sinister and wealthy gun lobby” with the financial power to influence law makers. In realty FIREARMS UNITED and its partners are non-profit making organisations and their administrators are volunteers who contribute their time and energy to campaign for the interests of their members. This process is a vital process in a democracy:  

Lobbying is an integral part of a healthy democracy, closely related to universal values such as freedom of speech and the right to petition of government. It allows for various interest groups to present their views on public decisions that may come to affect them. It also has the potential to enhance the quality of decision-making by providing channels for the input of expertise on increasingly technical issues to legislators and decisionmakers.”  (Burson Marsteller, A Guide to Effective Lobbying in Europe: The View of Policymakers, 2013).

FR | IT

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