europeBASC joined hunting and shooting organisations at the European Parliament to discuss European Commission proposals to amend the Firearms Directive.

The conference, organised by the Intergroup on biodiversity and hunting, brought together representatives of the Commission, MEPs and member organisations of FACE and the target shooting organisations.

Chairman Karl Heinz Florenz MEP (De. EPP) opened by saying the Commission’s proposals had been widely criticised and that only one person could be found to defend them at a recent parliamentary committee meeting.

The European Parliament’s rapporteur Vicky Ford MEP (UK, ECR) gave a speech in which she claimed she had never heard MEPs ‘so united in supporting the legal owners of firearms’.

She predicted some MEPs would vote for the proposals to be sent back to the Commission with a request they rethink them to better accommodate concerns held by hunters and sports shooters.

She also outlined where she thought a majority lay within the parliament after suggesting the actual words used by the Commission did not reflect the reality of proposals which would adversely affect hunters.

BASC director of communications Christopher Graffius attended the meeting and said: “After all the work BASC and others have put in with MEPs, the arguments appear to be going the right way. But we’re not there yet.

“If you support shooting, please use the website to send your MEP a respectful and reasoned email. It will help build on progress we’ve already made.”

Garry Doolan

Garry Doolan is BASC’s deputy director of communications and public affairs. He has more than 20 years experience of journalism and the media. He joined the organisation in 2016 and is a keen shooter and beater, with his springer spaniel Quincy.

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