BASC has praised the shooting community for working together to ensure member states accepted the proposed revisions to the European Firearms Directive.

BASC, the UK’s largest shooting organisation, and other shooting organisations worked tirelessly to ensure amendments to the Directive, suggested in the aftermath of terrorist atrocities, did not have unintended consequences for those who shoot legitimately.

As a result of those efforts – and the firm stance taken by the UK government and rapporteur Vicky Ford MEP – the lawful interests of the British shooting community are protected by the proposed amendments.

The careful briefing of MEPs and IMCO, chaired by Vicky Ford, means the following have been preserved for the UK:

  • Rimfire semi-automatic rifles.
  • Under 18’s having a certificate and their own gun to shoot.
  • Home loading of ammunition.
  • Collectors to be recognised and historical firearms preserved.
  • Imitation firearms used for dog training remain unlicensed.

Furthermore, the ability for the UK to extend the life of firearms and shotgun certificates and to choose its medical screening procedures have been secured rather than imposed upon us. The gun trade will be pleased to hear that no specific requirement has been made for a dealer’s register of transactions to be electronically stored.

Matthew Perring, a senior BASC firearms officer who worked on the issue on behalf of the association, said: “BASC together with the Federation of Associations for Hunting and Conservation of the European Union (FACE) and The British Shooting Sports Council have worked assiduously over the last year to counter threats to shooting sports.

“We are grateful that UK government and MEPs continue to work with the people who have at heart the best interests of shooting. Original Commission proposals were destined to damage many areas of shooting sports and due to the determination of all shooting interests and MEPs, common sense has prevailed.”

The next step is for the European Parliament’s Internal Market Committee (IMCO) to approve the changes to the directive before its scheduled plenary hearing on March 14, 2017.

BASC chairman Peter Glenser, a barrister specialising in firearms law, said; “When the Commission’s amendments to the Firearms Directive were proposed in October last year, there was a danger they would damage legitimate shooting sports.

“I am delighted that BASC has been a leading player in rallying together the wider shooting community so that the right people were briefed and the right decisions made. BASC will continue to be vigilant to ensure that legitimate shooting is protected.”

Click here for more news from the firearms department, including the full EU Firearms Briefing.

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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