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.