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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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FINANCIAL STATUS

Thanks to all our supporters!

Since 7th June 2016 we recieved more than 100.000 €.

From this total we already paid expenses of 23.487,61 € for travel costs, press releases, advertisments and letters, as well as for paypal fees of 1.616.73 €. The balance of 15.12.2016 was 81.835,13 €,

We still have to pay for outstanding expenses of the Firearms Directive Conference in November and some other expenses.

The “Founding Fathers (and Mother)” decided together with the whole working team to spend during the next three months huge sums for professional help, national conferences, TV, advertisements et all to get our topic and our concerns into the public and to the people in power. We also work on complains and lawsuits in our backrooms.

Those who know advertising’s cost can verify that 80.000 € is not enough for our plans.

So we ask YOU to share our memes in all your social media networks.

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EUROPEAN COMMISSION: BLACKMAILING THE PARLIAMENT, ENDANGERING CITIZENS

As untransparent trialogue proceeds and European Commission is demanding more and more restriction, it uses more and more pressuring rhetorics. According to them, the Parliament should “get out of its blockade mentality” and “not compromise on security of citizens”. Of course, anyone who knows more that what the Commission says knows that it is the Commission who uses this mess for its political purposes, and moreover, that it’s the Commission who is responsible for endangering citizens for many years.

TWO KIND OF MEASURES

There are two kind of measures, packed together as one deal – which is exactly what Commission wants.

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We don’t give up the fight to keep our firearms!

We’ll go to step TWO!

Pay for professional help as well as lobbying in national governments for our rights.

We’ve updated our donation page with the new balance and the list of expenses:

Expenses : -13.093,56 €

Balance : 68.392,05

More expenses will have to be paid for:

  • FIREARMS UNITED Conference catering and webstream, more flights expenses for speakers
  • professional Press Release (Follow-up)
  • second letter to MEPs
  • support of national conferences
  • more flights to Brussels or other capitals
  • engagement of professional lobbyist and media agency

Now we need YOUR help!

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Impact Assessment – Delivered!

Impact Assessment is sent by letter post to all MEPs

Because of the “urgency of the situation”, the commission decided to – against all principles of good administration – to skip an essential part of the process called impact assessment.

It is just what it sounds like – a study on how the proposed directive will impact various stakeholders like hunters, reservists, sport shooters, recreational shooters, firearms collectors to name a few. Despite requests of the MEPs and rapporteurs, commission has failed – to this date – deliver a proper impact assessment to justify the directive proposal.

I think we all know why.

One of the reasons of the conference was to provide a voice to all shooting enthusiasts and an opportunity for each stakeholder group to voice their opinion on the directive. One could characterize it as a live version of the impact assessment.

After the conference, everything was put together by Firearms United team of volunteers and now we have two versions:

The short version of our impact assessment: http://bit.ly/2fIAFru

The full version of our impact assessment: http://bit.ly/2fzOESO

Our letter to the MEPs

Thanks to efforts of the volunteers, there was also a hard copy of the shorter version printed out and mailed to each of the MEPs with this letter: Continue reading

Julian King

FIREARMS UNITED agrees with Commissioner King’s aim – but not with his way!

King wants an agreement that would restrict the circulation of fully automatic and converted semi-automatic weapons in such a way that safeguards their legitimate use. FIREARMS UNITED agrees with this aim – the safeguard of legitimate use, that is.

King believes that the European Commission, Council and Parliament can come out with effective control measures against criminal misuse of firearms. We don’t think that any possible compromise between their current positions could have any effect on illegally held firearms. It would, instead, have a huge negative impact on legally held firearms, their owners and the civilian firearms industry that supports more than 580,000 jobs in small and medium enterprises.

MEP Jussi Halla-Aho, co-chair of our Firearms Directive Conference, asked the right questions in LIBE committee to Sir Julian King, the new Commissioner for Security Union

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Conference 16/11/16 starts 30 minutes earlier

Due to MEP’s working schedules we start now at 14:00

Catering starts at 13:30 in room PHS 1A002

Accreditation

Left from the main entrance in the Visitors Center (separate entrance) between 12.30 and 12.45 APS Altiero Spinelli Building, European Parliament, Rue Wiertz 60, 1047 Brussels.

There, guests receive their stickers. Then the group has to go to the main entrance, where security will check identity card, then through the security control. The group is accompanied by MEP’s employees and led to the conference hall.

Register today here: Link

Remember, remember the 18th of November

Last year we posted this meme and asked you to answer the feedback of the Commission:

Say NO to #EUgunban and sign www.gunban.eu

Please also write your FEEDBACK to EU to the gun law. Do it politly, do it in your own words and language: https://ec.europa.eu/transparency/regdoc/?fuseaction=feedback&docId=3085376&language=en

27,763 feedbacks came in!

Did you hear anything about it? Have they been mentioned or read?

No? Right!  You cannot even find our feedbacks in the list of the closed consultations

These feedbacks have just vanished from the webserver of the Commission.

Fortunately they have been online for a short while in June 2016 and we were able to store all the 27,763 feedbacks. If you are interested in – you can download the 9 MB xls-file wich also contains hyperlinks to even more information, as a lot of associations sent attachements with their feedback.

Download XLS of 9 MB: Link

Semiautomatic still threatened

Wednesday 19 of October the Swedish IPSC Association had arranged a meeting with Anna Maria Corazza Bildt, MEP and shadow rapporteur for IMCO in the Trialogue around the Firearms Directive and FIREARMS UNITED has received first hand information about the meeting.

image3Anna Maria Corazza Bildt first received a demonstration of the sport. European Champion IPSC Handgun, Stefan Ekstedt and Swedish Champion IPSC Rifle, demonstrated their respective discipline. Then Anna Maria had the opportunity to try herself.

She did try both handgun and the rifle, but chose to only shoot with the handgun. She was genuinely interested in the demonstration and asked a lot of questions.

image5After the hands-on demonstration, there was a good discussion based on understanding the sport, updating the sport shooters on the process and discussing the consequences of the different decisions for the sport.

Mrs Corazza Bildt informed the participants at the meeting that the Parliament has successfully negotiated regarding the regulations for distance sales and EU firearms passport and that they are keen on negotiating away the requirement for medical checks (which the Council wants to keep).

The sport shooters had the possibility to make suggestions about the choice of words in the directive, and the MEP took notes. For instance that the sport shooters can only have an exception if they are actively competing (here she will pursue that one can be active in the club without competition being compulsory) and also that the exeption for sports shooters will binding for the Member States and not leave it open (she noted the use of “member states shall give exception” instead of “may give exception”).

The major stumbling block is the issue of moving semiautomatic firearms from category B to category A, in other words prohibited for civilian possession.

image4The wording refers to the semiautomatic firearms which have the capacity to fire more than 21 shots must be placed in category A. All sports shooters around the table realized immediately that this means a move for ALL semiautomatic regardless of which magazine is used, because all semiautomatic have the capacity to fire more than 21 shots (all you need is to change to a bigger magazine).

On this point, Mrs Corazza Bildt does not share the sport shooters’ opinion but believes that the capacity is controlled by the size of the magazine. Agree to disagree … And a very personal view is to choose to believe that 6 marksmen know more about weapons than a politician.

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Pia Clerté + MEP Anna Maria Corazza Bildt

There was also a discussion around the consequences of this move for hunters, since they do not get any exceptions in the Firearms Directive, and the MEP claimed they will not be affected.

Unfortunately, we are probably seeing here a confusion of the Swedish law (which regulates the number of rounds that are ALLOWED in a magazine WHILE hunting) with the firearms capabilities.

Even a hunting rifle CAN of course take a bigger magazine, whatever is written that you are ALLOWED to hunt with in the Swedish law.

 

 

All in all a very positive meeting hugely appreciated by the sport shooter community.