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EU Firearms Directive

posted 24 Mar 2016, 16:49 by Tony Cattermole
Members will will note the following message from BSSC, which also includes our input.

The message is directed at the Associations who are members of BSSC and we will write to Vicky Ford (and other MEPs) with whom we are in touch already, as you  will know from previous communications.

Individual members may wish to write to their own MEPs in their own name, and when doing so should follow the guidelines below. Please address any questions you may have relating to this myself and/or the Hon Secretary.

Derek Stimpson

BSSC message

We understand that following the appalling bombings in Brussels (which however did not involve firearms) and at the request of Belgium, the EU Commission Presidency has called an urgent meeting which is to be held today, 24th of March at 4pm, the meeting was intended to show solidarity with Belgium, discuss the actual state of play in the fight against terrorism and, critically, to pursue swift completion and implementation of the Commission’s draft Directive.

The strongest pressure is expected to be put on other EU Council members to vote in favour of calling upon Parliament to adopt the Commission proposal with urgency.
Moreover, the same forces are exerting great pressure upon MEPs to support the Commission proposal. There is a clear need to bolster the resolve of those MEPs who support us. At this point the most useful action we can take is to email these MEPs and express both our sympathies for the victims of the terrorist bombings and our organisation’s considerable thanks and full support for the MEP in continuing to hold his or her ground against undemocratic pressure from the Commission. What is being sought is the implementation of a draft Directive which it is now widely understood would have no effect on terrorism but would adversely affect hunters, target shooters, museums, collectors and Europe’s heritage of arms. We should also emphasise that the Commission should be focused on the real problems: border controls, inter-Member State co-operation and appropriate policing
The BSSC will be writing in these terms to Vicky Ford and Geoffrey van Orden. Will you please as a matter of urgency write to your MEP contacts at an early point in the above terms and encourage your members to contact their MEPs likewise. They should not write to Vicky Ford - she is receiving considerable quantities of mail already.
Your members should:
1. Express sympathy for the victims of recent terrorist acts, but point out that bombings should not be used as a reason for unwarranted additional controls on civilian firearms.
2. Point out that the proposals in the Weapons Directive as presented by the Commission would have no impact on terrorists who prefer military weapons trafficked illegally. The Directive would however adversely affect law abiding hunters, target shooters, museums, collectors and Europe’s important heritage of arms.
3. Make clear that the one significant legal ‘loophole’ in the legal market, the need to introduce appropriate controls on the sale of acoustic/alarm firearms, is already in hand.
4. The focus should be on measures directly aimed at terrorism, such as border controls, inter-Member State co-operation and appropriate policing.
5. Thank the MEP for his/her support and urge the MEP to continuing to hold his or her ground against ill-founded pressure from the Commission to support its unacceptable proposals.