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.
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
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.
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:
- Collectors, museum & firearms of interest
- Loading devices & re-categorization of semi-automatic rifles
- Long firearms with folding or removable stocks
- Automatic firearms converted to semi-automatic
- The Sport Shooters’ exemption & Firearms Pass
- 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.
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  was later issued by the Spanish authorities:
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?
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.
The conference will discuss how the Commission’s misguided proposal, which was presented in a most irregular manner, would lead to a serious impact on legal firearm owners and users, as well as on national authorities’ resources, while hardly having any effect against the use of illegal weapons by criminals and terrorists. Participants will be informed of the latest developments following the trilogue meetings between the Commission, the Council and Parliament.
Webstream of the conference: Youtube
More informations: Firearms Directive Conference
We received a huge amount of requests for this and are happy to report: The first FU merchandise campaign is in full swing as of 02 January 2017! You can find our online store at www.iamthegunlobby.eu. We have t-shirts, velcro patches, caps, shopping bags and car stickers available.
All products are available either with the Firearms United logo or the beloved #IAMTHEGUNLOBBY design. In addition, we also have some all-new designs available.
IMPORTANT: This is a campaign. As such we don’t have any items in stock but will produce to order. The store is open until 31 January 2017, ordered items will be shipped around mid to late February 2017.
All proceeds from this campaign will of course go 100% towards Firearms United’s struggle for your rights!
Happy shopping! 😉
PL | FR | IT | DE | SE
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 NIKOLAJ NIELSEN (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