Reader IO writes:
Being a European weapons enthusiast who loves my hobby (even though I think it’s already much too over-regulated here in Norway), I will firstly say that I find your blog very interesting and applaud you for taking a “no bullshit stance” when it comes to media hysteria concerning guns and that you fight hysterical claims with cold facts.
I now feel that the time is ripe for mentioning the situation fellow gun enthusiasts have to deal with in Europe and at the time of this writing, radical forces within the E.U. have set forth a series of proposals concerning wide and draconian modifications of the E.U. firearms directive. The new proposals appear to outline what might be the biggest gun rights restriction in modern history, since all E.U. member states and those bound by the Schengen treaty are affected.
This proposition is to be voted over in early July and is being unscrupulously promoted by its proponents, blatantly serving a toxic propaganda cocktail of lies, inaccuracies and misuse of statistical data. The proposal is worded in such vague legal language that it may be difficult to accurately predict in just how many ways it can damage the law-abiding gun owner, however some of the things that are left without a shadow of doubt are:
All detachable magazines holding more than 11 rounds for long guns (rifles, carbines, shotguns) and more than 21 rounds in the case of handguns would be banned.
Semi-automatic firearms capable of accepting those “high-capacity” magazines would be banned.
Firearms using internal box or tube magazines capable to hold more than 11 rounds (for rifles, carbines, shotguns) or 21 rounds (for pistols) may also be banned or restricted.
All semi-automatic firearms that can be shortened to less than 60 centimeters in length by the use of a collapsing, telescoping, folding or easily removable buttstock would be banned.
“Demilitarized” guns – those semi-automatic, civilian-grade guns converted after full-automatic military firearms – would be banned even if the modification has been put in place in such a way that would make re-conversion to select-fire/full-automatic capabilities impossible.
While partial exceptions to these bans could be granted to sport shooters, only national shooting federations recognized by the ISSF (International Sport Shooting Federation) would have the authority to decide what a “sporting firearm” is and what it is not. This means that all guns that are not conceived for academic or Olympic shooting competitions – including IPSC/IDPA/3-Gun firearms – would not qualify for the exemption. Moreover, sport shooters would only be granted a permit for such firearms if they have been active shooters during the preceding twelve months. Then there’s this:
Deactivated firearms and alarm guns should be registered.
Reproduction or antique firearms would no longer be outside the scope of the cirective.
Licenses allowing ownership of semi-automatic firearms could be limited in duration – possibly to as shortly as three years.
A grandfathering clause would allow current owners to retain those firearms, but no new ones could be acquired by anybody and existing ones could not be transferred for any reason – including inheritance: upon owner’s death, those guns should thus be confiscated and destroyed without compensation.
Again these are (unfortunately) only a select few highlights from the total list of proposed regulations, for more reading please see firearms-united and all4shooters websites.
The proposals have seen little media publicity so far, likely the result of an uninterested or even outright antigun press. This lack of publicity is extremely bad since it allows the entire process to basically fly under the radar of law abiding citizens, allowing desicions to be made concerning their freedom and rights without their knowing. According to several gun owner associations there are still seasoned weapons enthusiasts that have failed to hear of the proposals thus limiting the number of critical voices that can impede the current process.
I sincerely hope that you can help remedy the media situation by mentioning it in your blog, Facebook etc. thus giving it the publicity it sorely needs before its too late.
Attached you will find the call to action letter from the firearms organization Firearms United, which gives a more detailed insight into the proposition. I have also attached a list of institutional contacts for EU member states, listing the appropriate contacts for concerned citizens.
A fellow weapons enthusiast from Europe