Category Archives: News & Press

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

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.

 

The EU Gun Ban is approved without amendments

Our partner GUNSweek summed up the outcome: Just as the European gun owners community feared, the modifications to the European firearms directive were approved without amendments – a slap in the face of the so-called European democracy and to the civil rights of millions of gun owners Europe-wide

The European Parliament ultimately failed the citizens of the Union by not attempting to amend the text further in order to remove serious pitfalls that may come to haunt law-abiding gun owners in the future; it also failed the citizens of Europe by choosing political exigency over civil liberties and not being bold enough to consign this legislative mess to the rubbish bin where it belongs.

However the biggest loser in this entire process has been the EU itself and its credibility with millions of honest citizens like you who will neither forget nor forgive it for the way it has treated them.

With its vote, the European Parliament decided that democracy and justice in Europe do not exist, and that not all European citizens are created equal. Terrorists and criminals are thankful.

For the first time in its history, Europe has its own unitary gun rights advocacy group (FIREARMS UNITED) – an entity that has been fighting against the EU gun ban ever since it was first proposed back in November 2015.

This was theirs first fight, but they succeeded in watering down the proposal significantly, fighting with very little money, experience, and connections within the European institutions.

You can be sure that FIREARMS UNITED will follow up the process of implementing the guideline into national laws and prevent further pitfalls. We already stopped an attempt in Hungary to forbid semiautomatic rifles which could hold bigger magazines.

You can read the details what is behind the new categories A6 to A8 in English and Italian, if you click on the buttom “FOCUS ON:WHAT NOW”

GUNSweek wrote here:

European Commission has lost its crazed bid to destroy historical firearms in museums and private collections. It lost all this in spite of slandering honest citizens, lying consistently and presenting false statistical data.

There will be no total ban and mass confiscation of “Category B7” modern sporting firearms, both working and deactivated

There will be no total ban and mass confiscation of firearms that can accept magazines over 10 rounds in capacity

There will be no total ban and mass confiscation or mandatory deactivation of historical and modern automatic firearms kept by museums or by private collectors for cultural and research purposes

There will be no total ban of all realistic imitations of automatic firearms

There will be no mandatory medical and psychological tests for gun owners

Read more in EN | IT | DE

 

#EUGunban: Outcome Of The Vote

Yesterday the European Parliament meeting in Plenary in Strasbourg voted on the Provisional Agreement reached in December following the Trilogues. The rejection of the Commission Proposal as well as the amendments proposed to improve the text failed to make it due to the first two votes:

AM 109 (ENF) & AM 123 (EFDD): Rejection of the Commission proposal
For: 123
Against: 562
Abstentions: 14

AM 107 (Committee): Approval of Provisional Agreement
For: 491
Against: 178
Abstentions: 28

30% of all the MEPs present for the vote did not approve the Provisional Agreement. This is a significant amount.

The Commission lost its bid to confiscate your legal property and destroy your passion for sport shooting, hunting, collecting and other legitimate activities in which you use your firearms. It lost its crazed bid to destroy historical firearms in museums and private collections. It lost all this in spite of breaking its own rules, slandering innocent citizens, lying consistently and presenting false statistical data.

The Commission lost because people like you came together to defend our common ideals and interests and supported us in every way possible in our efforts to gain the support of sensible MEPs. We reciprocated your support by carrying out all our work voluntarily in order to make the most of our limited resources. We are eternally grateful to you as we are to those MEPs who worked just as hard as we did to bring about this victory against all odds.

Nevertheless Parliament ultimately failed you by not attempting to amend the text further in order to remove serious pitfalls that will come to haunt us in the future. It also failed you by not being bold enough to consign this legislative mess to the rubbish bin where it belongs. It failed you by choosing political exigency over your civil liberties.

However the biggest loser in this entire process has been the EU itself and its credibility with millions of honest citizens like you who will neither forget nor forgive it for the way it has treated them.

Read more and watch the press conference in 8 languages:

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

Meeting in Strasbourg

On 15 February FIREARMS UNITED held a fruitful meeting with Rapporteur Vicky Ford in Strasbourg. This meeting was followed up with a letter that the Rapporteur sent us and which we reproduce below.

FIREARMS UNITED appreciates the sterling work done by the Rapporteur in securing the best possible terms within her remit in spite of the intense pressure exerted by the Council and the Commission during the Trilogues.

Nevertheless, FIREARMS UNITED and its team of technical experts have grievous concerns about the text that will be tabled in Plenary, which still presents a potential minefield for the criminalistion of innocent and law-abiding citizens and for diverting valuable Member State resources in dealing with unduly complex and unenforceable legislation.

FIREARMS UNITED is therefore committed to working with the RAPPORTEUR and sensible MEPs from any political group to introduce technical improvements that guarantee an efficient but safe implementation of the Directive.

It is thanks to the continued moral and financial support of legal firearm owners that FIREARMS UNITED is permitted to carry on with its negotiations and, if necessary in the near future, to seek legal redress at European and Member State levels.

Download: Link or read more here in EN | DE | PL | FR | IT | CZ

Continue reading

Dita Charanzova

EU Gun Ban: Dita Charanzová speaks out to Firearms United

The Firearms United network – one of the main voices of oppositions to the EU Gun Ban representing gun owners from all around Europe – interviewed Czech MEP Dita Charanzová, shadow rapporteur for ALDE and herself one of the staunchest opponents to the European Commission’s restrictive proposals

Read the whole article with the interview at Gunsweek ( EN | IT )
Read the whole interview in DE | FI | CZ | FR

FIREARMS UNITED (FU): Mrs. Charanzová, how did you live the entire process as a Shadow Rapporteur?

MEP Dita Charanzová (DC): I must say that in my whole presence and work in Brussels – first as an official for Permanent Representation of the Czech Republic, and later as MEP – I never met a proposal that would be this much politicised, especially as the end of negotiations closed in; and I found that very disappointing.

The Commission exerted enormous amounts of pressure to adopt a text that would contain as severe restrictions as possible, and to adopt it as soon as possible, without being able to give any real reason for these restrictions.

Continue reading

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

Guilty – until proven innocent?

Stereotypes – they are nice and they save time – its easy to label people, especially in media these days.

Gone are the days when news agencies reported only facts – if they ever did. And in media these days you are pretty much always labeled guilty – whether your are guilty or not. And if you are not – nobody bothers to “correct” the news afterwards.

We have a nice example of “investigative journalism” for you today:

In Spain the local police (in cooperation with EUROPOL – just about week before IMCO vote) seized huge number of what they call “illegal firearms”.

Press release [1] was later issued by the Spanish authorities:

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading