EU Firearms Directive


Well-Known Member
I will start by saying that I am genuinely not trying to start any arguments, as this seems to be a controversial topic.

I have read the EU draft, and agree largely with the changes that they wish to make; standardising the deactivation of firearms to a high quality has no negative impact on anyone who is using the legally i.e. not at all for a deactivated firearm, and increasing communication between police forces would certainly help in preventing illegal arms trafficking.

What I do not agree with is the limitation on semi automatic firearms; just to be clear I do not own a semi auto, but oppose any further limitation to the already limited choice of firearms available to a UK shooter. As I have said, I have read the directive, and (in my very non-legally aware opinion) it would seem that the ban could apply to our rimfire rifles in the UK.

As a member of BASC I checked their stance on it, and their press release seems to indicate that they see the fixed 5 year term firearm permits as the most objectionable part of the new legislation, with no real reference to the semi auto ban. I have sent an email to this effect to the BASC, and sincerely hope I am wrong, and that they will be representing us properly and arguing in favour of maintaining as much of our (already limited) selection as possible, and not simply roll over on it in favour of 10 year licenses (does this really make a significant difference to anyone, anyway?).

This brings me to my point; if, like me, you support the right of licensed law abiding people to continue to own semiautomatic rifles, please write to your respective shooting organisations and tell them, as well as signing the petition shown on a previous thread.

Anyone a bit more legally minded than I, feel free to correct me on any of the assertions I have made regarding the new directive.

Rant over, thanks for reading,

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Well-Known Member
See news item below – posted to NRA website & FB

The EU has published a draft directive in response to recent terrorist events; it risks muddling the obvious need to restrict illicit ex-military weapons entering and moving throughout the EU with the legal activities of several million decent and law abiding target and sporting shooters. There are threats to the continuation of the use of semi-automatic firearms (already heavily restricted); and worrying proposals regarding deactivated weapons.

.22 calibre semi-automatic rifles are enjoyed by thousands of UK target shooters; they are one of the most popular types in Gallery Rifle shooting. Semi-automatic shotguns are also very popular and are used by growing numbers of our members in target shooting competitions. Attempting to ban certain types of firearms by how they look, rather than what they do, is simply illogical. In the UK, testing by the British Proof Houses ensures a high standard of deactivation.

We welcome the thrust of the Home Secretary’s recent statement, particularly “The UK has some of the toughest firearms laws in the world. The sorts of weaponry used in the attacks in Paris in January, and those that appear to have been used last Friday, are not readily available in the UK. We must therefore focus on tackling firearms entering and moving throughout the EU, and ensuring that we have the right capabilities at the UK border to detect firearms being smuggled in…I will press the need for greater information sharing, passenger name records, and action on firearms. In the UK we have seen tough legislation work and so we want to see action taken to make a difference to the availability of firearms in Europe, particularly assault rifles”
Our European shooting friends have started a petition to highlight the risks of unforeseen consequences from the proposed EU Directive – I think it is important that all European shooters register their support and concern by signing the petition – follow the link
Andrew Mercer


Well-Known Member
It would be nice to think our government would push the idea that our current legislation is adequate and is working and therefore doesn't need changing, but I think that statement by Theresa May was actually made a couple of days before the EU directive came out, and I wonder whether our government's position will have changed based on this.

Unfortunately, the only people that are actively highlighting the difference between legal firearms used for sport, and illegal firearms smuggled from abroad, are those within the shooting community, who generally are only listened to by others in the shooting community!