For those that constantly complain that our shooting organisation do nothing - lots going om behind the scenes
Today, SACS director Alex Stoddart joined counterparts from other major organisations at a Stakeholders Meeting in Westminster, chaired by Vicky Ford MEP, chair... of the European Parliament committee tasked to review the EU Firearms Directive change proposals and take them, or alternative legal wordings, forward.
A wide range of matters were discussed, including collector restrictions, proposed semi-auto ban, compulsory medical tests, licensing of deactivated former firearms, blank firers, distance sales of component parts, high capacity magazines, sound moderators, secure storage and other areas of supposed concern to the European Commission.
It was an excellent and highly productive meeting. The multiple stakeholders represented their members, activities and way of life with passion and reasoned debate.
As well as voicing our own members' concerns, SACS made a number of positive amendment suggestions together with colleagues from British Shooting Sports Council, BASC, CA, NRA, Firearms UK, Gun Trade Association, NGO, Vintage Arms Association and several other representative groups.
Alex says: "Today is a classic example of the benefits of working together to bigger and better outcomes. After today's meeting I am quietly confident that we are now well-placed to fend off an unwarranted European Parliament attack on safe and legitimate shooters.
There is understanding that the currently-worded semi-auto proposal and others are simply unworkable. The political process will continue through the year, but we have made our position crystal clear and will follow it through.
It is also clear that many MEPs believe the current amendment proposals are poorly drafted and that UK firearm laws are robust enough. We are now being asked to come up with wording alternatives and SACS will be providing its own specific amendments as will other stakeholders.
I would like to thank Vicky Ford MEP for her energy, commitment and taking the time to listen and ask questions of those present.
To all members, please keep calm. We will simply not allow the European Parliament to destroy shooting sports in the UK. Collectively, we are very much on top of the issue and will follow it through to a positive conclusion. Diplomacy and grit shall win through.
I will leave you with some of today's words from the National Ballistic Intelligence Service:
"We should focus on capability, not on what something looks like.... .22 semi-auto rimfires and semi-auto shotguns do not feature in gun crime and we have no issue with them."
SACS could not agree more.
As this moves forward we will keep you updated." Ends.