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.
Anna 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.
After 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.
The 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.
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.