Editorial: Europe and Firearms

Europe Guns
Europe & Guns
Countryside Alliance
Countryside Alliance

London, UK -(AmmoLand.com)- Last week we were in Brussels for a FACE UK reception (European Federation of Associations for Hunting and Conservation) in the European Parliament with our colleagues from BASC, including Chief Executive Richard Ali who is the current FACE UK Chairman.

We were there to discuss the Commission’s proposals for amendments to the Firearms Directive which could affect every gun owner in the UK. A large number of UK MEPs from all parties attended the reception and our sponsor, Anthea McIntyre MEP, addressed attendees on the most pressing issues facing the 10 million hunters and shooters in the EU.

The proposed amendments to the Firearms Directive could impose further restrictions on lawful possession and use of firearms, most of which would not have any real benefit in the fight against terrorism, which has been used as the justification for bringing them forward.

In particular we are concerned about the introduction of mandatory five year ceilings for firearms certificates, measures to make it harder for young people to acquire firearms, the introduction of standard medical tests and a ban on certain semi-automatic rifles. We will be working with colleagues across Europe to rally support amongst MEPs for amendments which would protect the rights of lawful gun owners.

We are confident from our visit to Brussels that sensible amendments will generate support from all political parties.

Meanwhile the European Parliament voted, by 592 to 52 votes, earlier this month not to reopen the Birds and Habitats Directives for potential amendments. The Commission will make the final decision on the Directives later this year but the UK Government, along with the governments of France, Italy, Spain and Germany, have all stated that they do not want the Directives to be re-opened. The Countryside Alliance, along with other groups including the RSPB, also support this view.

The referendum in June will decide the shape of the UK’s future relationship with the EU, but whether we stay in, or come out, European politics will remain crucial to many of our issues.

Tim Bonner
Chief Executive
Follow on Twitter @CA_TimB

About Countryside Alliance:

The Countryside Alliance is known for its work on wildlife and management, but its agenda is far broader than that incorporating food & farming, local businesses and services and the injustices of poor mobile phone signal and broadband in the countryside. We are anything but a single issue organisation and represent the interests of country people from all backgrounds and geographical locations. With around 100,000 members the Countryside Alliance promotes and protects rural life at Parliament, in the media and on the ground. Our vision is a future for the countryside which both preserves its traditional values and promotes a thriving rural community and economy; a countryside sustainably managed and sustainably enjoyed; a countryside where rural communities have equal access to the facilities and services enjoyed in urban communities; a countryside where people can pursue their businesses, activities and lives in a society that appreciates and understands their way of life.

Join the voice of rural Britain today at www.Countryside-Alliance.org.