Category Archives: Direct Action

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FIREARMS UK PRESS RELEASE: Response to European Commission’s “Strengthens control of firearms across the EU”

The revision of the European Union Firearms Directive 1991 which was already underway, the EU having stated its intention last year, has been brought forward, even rushed forward in response to the ongoing terrorism threat in France. The proposals put forward whilst stating that they are to curtail the activities of terrorism and illegality are most likely to have limited effect given the simple fact that at pan European or national level terrorism and criminality and those who pursue it have already considered their stance and ignoring the law is a minor consideration, which reduces any law to a loose deterrent at best, what it does do in most cases and certainly in this case is impact greatly on the privileges of the law abiding and sensible people who wish to remain a peaceful and productive member of normal society. This directive, whilst its aims are laudable is a case in point.

Firearms UK will always support initiatives from European Commission or National Governments against terrorism, the control of firearms, justifiable, proportionate restrictions for their acquisition, possession and use plus measured initiatives to enhance public safety but some measures contained with this proposal fall far short of any of those tests to legitimacy.

Authority must strike a very fine balance between the need to protect people and the more important need to protect individual rights and freedoms in some EU states and their corresponding privileges in others. Together the European wide and national shooting organisations have reacted to this announcement almost as one voice agreeing that the need to limit some and their intent is desirable but these proposals appear to be aimed not at terrorism, more couched in opportunism against the most tightly controlled and law abiding members of any EU country, Firearms owners and users.

Firearms UK accept that greater traceability of firearms is desirable, a condition long applied in the UK, common deactivation standards make life easier for dealers and collectors alike, the exchange of information between member states licensing authorities eases the movement of legally held firearms across Europe and aids freedom within sporting activities, all very sensible and reasonably proportioned measures but what is the proportion of deactivated firearms reactivated for terrorist or criminal use within the EU, does anyone know? It only remains to be said that many of the proposals are not measured and proportionate they are a thinly veiled attack on the law abiding shooting communities of Europe who have played no part in the ongoing terror threat.

Just as a law to manage firearms ownership does not apply to those operating outside that law similarly the proposals for medical checks is not going to apply, a terrorist applying for a medical check, like a firearms certificate, is a most unlikely scenario, if it were not so serious it would be funny to suggest so. It should remain the choice of member states to determine need or desirability.

Firearms UK reject completely the inclusion of semi-automatic firearms that “resemble” automatic firearms in the prohibited category. Ask yourself where that description ends and to whom it applies, that the cosmetic appearance of a firearm can determine the intent of the user, who is the next target for this restriction, wooden stocked semi-auto’s, high capacity magazine fed bolt action rifles, it never ends, if shooters accept this restriction without loudly vocalising their objection nothing is safe and no one’s shooting choice is safe. It also raises once again the possibility of confiscation without compensation.

The restriction proposed in respect of internet trading and distance communication should perhaps be targeted toward the ‘Dark Net’ where the sale and exchange of illegal firearms is taking place, not attack the EU’s own principles of open co-operation and free trading for no gain, it may be the case that internet sales between individual’s is possible in some EU states but not in the UK without the intervention of licensing authority, we closed that avenue a long time ago, perhaps the Commission can take a lead from the UK in this area?

Some of these proposals have a legitimate place in the national need to control the acquisition and use of Firearms, measures to restrict such by terror or criminal elements but the proposal as presented go far beyond any notion of targeting illegality, they represent a deliberate attempt to limit firearms ownership by the introduction of ever more restrictive measures by salami tactics, one small slice at a time, thus hiding the overall intent, the disarmament of the law abiding peoples of Europe.

Firearms UK is completely opposed to any further proposals that make it even more difficult for law abiding citizens to own or use firearms, especially when such amendments appear based on subjective argument not fact. We believe the European Commission should focus on the use of illegal firearms by criminals and at introducing changes in the laws that would result in providing both a deterrent to criminals/terrorists as well as having a practical effect of making law abiding European citizens safer.

We will work with our partners and other likeminded organisations throughout Europe to fight these proposals. The UK Shooting Community has been on the receiving end of knee-jerk and totally disproportionate legislation before. Enough is enough, it is time to unite, standup and be proud of being a law abiding, safe and responsible gun owner and user.

Download this document here

 

 

Welcome to all our new followers

Welcome to all our new followers on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Also many thanks for the many offers of assistance, we will contact you as soon as we can.

It looks like we have a very busy period ahead of us. We will do our best to share information as we receive it. If followers come across anything they feel maybe useful please let us know either by posting on our social media pages or via email at contact@firearmsuk.org

As usual we encourage individuals to play their part in protecting our shared interests. We suggest the following course of action;

  1. Spread the word. Share our pages. Encourage others to act.
  2. Sign the petition. http://goo.gl/5qv7rC
  3. Write to your MEP. This can be done via http://writetothem.com
  4. Write to your MP. Again can be done via http://writetothem.com
  5. If you are a member of a pro-shooting organisation TELL them that you want them to act.
  6. Challenge every piece of negative media you come across. We have guides on our website of how to do this.

Most of all do not give up. We must not let apathy win again!

Independent Press Standards Organisation – Editors’ Code of Practice

We have seen a number of occurrences of factually inaccurate reporting by UK newspapers recently, particularly regarding Shotgun Certificates being issued to young people.

Editors are supposed to comply with a ‘Code of Practice’ which should be enforced by the Independent Press Standards Organisation.

We encourage everyone to lodge complaints with the IPSO whenever a newspaper publishes shooting related articles that are inaccurate, misleading or biased.

Complaints can be entered online at https://www.ipso.co.uk/IPSO/makeacomplaint.html

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Clay Shooting in Paralympic Games

As part of a long running campaign to get clay target shooting accepted as a discipline in the Paralympic Games the Disabled Shooters Group are currently on a fundraising drive to help send 6 of their own shooters to two events in 2014, commencing with a demonstration this July in Suhl, Germany during the IPC Shooting World Championships.

Disabled Shooters Group Logo

This is a crucial step in the campaign to get para-clay shooting recognized as a Paralympic discipline and is something we are very proud to support. We have published a dedicated page in support of this effort and will be updating it as we launch initiatives in support and become aware of more information.

Please seriously consider making a contribution to this fundraising effort, not only will you directly be helping fellow shooters help promote the discipline of para-clay shooting you will also be helping to make history, by getting clay shooting accepted into the Paralympic Games which will yield wide reaching benefits for all shooters.

Either has a Firearms UK supporter or having become aware of this fundraising effort via our webpage or other promotion we also ask that you consider letting us know any contributions you make, this will allow us to compile a summary of the total contributions to this fundraising effort by Firearms UK and our supporters and followers.

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Seeking volunteers for new initiative

To help highlight the diversity of shooting we are going to start running a new feature on our webpage titled “Who Am I?”

The idea is to interview people, and then collectively demonstrate the diverse demographics that enjoy the shooting sports. Maybe it will dispel some stereotypes, maybe it will encourage new people into the sport who may not have considered it otherwise, or perhaps it will just be a bit of fun.

If you are interested and would like to know more, please e-mail our Publicity Manager at dave@firearmsuk.org

Facebook & Instagram; An Update

After raising a concern over a potential policy change regarding firearm related pages on Facebook, today we have been made aware of this update from Facebook.

In this regard we do not anticipate any further action being necessary at this time, however we will provide further updates should it become necessary.

Facebook and Instagram

VentureBeat, an American media outlet has reported on a US petition raised by ‘Mayors Against Illegal Guns’ and ‘Moms Demand Action’ in which the Social Media network Facebook is lobbied to prohibit gun themed pages on sites it owns, Facebook itself and Instagram.

The article is US focused and relates directly to matters that arose within the US however if Facebook, who are ‘in negotiations’ with the petitioners and as stated discussions are ongoing and there have been positive developments suggesting talks from the petitioners perspective are favourable?

This must be a matter of concern to UK shooters and those who have both shooting related personal pages and of course the shooting organisations, Distributors, Retailers, etc own offerings via Facebook and Instagram.

If Facebook via their own site and that of Instagram relent and prohibit gun themed and firearms related pages in the US it is going to be a fairly short time afterwards, indeed if not at the same time that there is pressure brought to bear to implement the same regime to Facebook, etc internationally. The UK will potentially become a prime target for this when we consider the anti gun position so prevalent in this country already?

It has to be said that the division and lack of real support by some UK elements of shooting whilst they may not be immediately and directly detrimental they will certainly not help if, or perhaps more likely when, this becomes a real threat of definitive action.

Firearms UK campaigns for unity in shooting, to bring together and lobby for and on behalf of all those who are involved through whatever aspect of the subject and we will watch this closely and see if a response is required to future developments affecting the UK. We will also continue to offer our appropriate support to international groups.

We will monitor developments in this are and keep you informed.

Link to the original story: http://venturebeat.com/2014/03/03/facebook-to-announce-policy-changes-on-gun-themed-pages-exclusive

Celebrating our 1st Anniversary

We are very proud to announce that on this day, the 4th March Firearms UK Association celebrates its 1st anniversary. It has been a very busy and exciting year for us. We realize at times it may have seemed like we have been quiet but the team have very seldom been inactive.

In the past year we have continued to build upon our original aims of increasing unity within shooting and have encouraged firearms enthusiasts to take a more active role in promoting and defending firearms ownership and the shooting sports.

We have continued to build and strengthen connections within the shooting community and will continue to do so, and are particularly proud to support the inclusive and disabled shooting organisations; Sport4all, Disabled Shooters Group and Disabled Shooting Project ensuring the joys of shooting are available to all, regardless of handicap.

Here is a brief rundown of some of the work we have
been involved with in the last year:

With respect to consultations; we have responded formally to numerous consultations which impact upon firearms ownership and the shooting sports which include; Scottish airguns, Scottish National Heritage, EU consultation on firearms controls and are continuing to develop our formal response to the Natural England consultation on General and Class licences.

Members of Firearms UK Association have continued to lobby MP’s and MEP’s both personally and on behalf of the Association for all of the above consultations, in concern over the EU ‘Firearms Directive’ and any other matter which has shown a potential to have a negative impact on the UK shooting community. We have also reached out to a myriad of political parties to further promote the positives of shooting and counter some of the strong bias against shooting, so often prevalent in the media.

Alongside responding to the various threats to the shooting community as they appear, we have also responded to press enquiries, wrote and had published numerous articles and or comments in the ‘shooting press’ and have published open letters and commentary via our own website and social media channels.

Importantly, since our original formation as an online group we have reorganised our structure, both internally and publicly and are also very happy to announce that as of the 1st March we are now an Association, formally being recognized as Firearms UK Association.

Still to come; much of our time recently has been invested in developing campaigns to launch this year. The specific nature of these campaigns is yet to be made public, but we have been very busy organising these efforts behind the scenes and consulting with individuals and organisations to ensure that these campaigns will be as professional as possible and be of such a standard that we can reasonably expect a positive outcome from them. We are expecting to launch at least one of these new campaigns this month.

Finally, with the kindness of one of our supporters we have prepared our next free prize draw, which we are very excited about. We will launch the prize draw when our Facebook page reaches 3,000 Likes, so please continue to share and promote Firearms UK Association and help us build up the reach of our page.

We would like to thank everyone dearly for supporting our efforts over the past year and look forward to working with and supporting you all for the rest of 2014 and into the future to ensure the future is bright for shooting and firearms ownership within the UK.

Firearms UK
Fighting for your Rights
http://firearmsuk.org

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Natural England Consultation on General & Class Licences

Natural England has today begun a Consultation on General and Class Licences under wildlife legislation in England. The consultation will close at 5pm on Monday 19th May 2014.

Natural England is seeking views on a number of proposals and topics relating to the General and Class Licences issued under wildlife legislation. These licences are periodically reviewed, and Natural England consults with stakeholders and the general public on proposed changes and seeks views on broader topics.

  1. the management of conflict species;
  2. the trapping and welfare of animals;
  3. sale, exhibition and possession of protected species;
  4. improving compliance with the licences;
  5. changes related to obligations under the EU Birds Directive.

This consultation will be of interest to anyone who uses a General or Class Licence, and organisations representing the interests of licence users and/or protected species.

You can respond to the consultation by e-mailing completed response forms to wildlife.consultation@naturalengland.org.uk. Alternatively you can respond in writing to:

Natural England General Licence Consultation
c/o Wildlife Licensing
Natural England
Temple Quay House
2 The Square
Bristol BS1 6EB

(NB: There is no need to post hard copies of e-mailed responses and responses received by post will not be acknowledged unless specifically requested.)

Whilst we recognize the importance of periodically reviewing and if necessary updating the licencing schemes of which Natural England has the authority to administer we have some concerns around increasing the administrative burden for those undertaking pest control and the impact certain proposals will have on the successful control of pest species to prevent damage to agriculture. Some of our concerns include, but are not necessary limited to the following;

Introducing a requirement to report on nil returns as part of the air safety Class Licence.

A proposal to introduce a referenced tagging system for traps set under General or Class Licence.

Proposal to include a statement in all General Licences that a person’s right to use a General licence may be rescinded if they breach a condition(s) of a wildlife licence.

Whilst having some concerns as noted above we appreciate that Natural England have taken the time to conduct ‘An Assessment of Regulatory Impact’, see Annex C in contrast to the Scottish Government who failed to conduct such an assessment whilst launching their campaign against airgun owners. In addition we are happy to support numerous of the proposals within the consultation.

We advise all firearms owners to become familiar with the General and Class Licence even in cases where they are not required to carry out lawful shooting related activities such as in target shooting; the current consultation presents an ideal opportunity. Familiarity with the licences allows all shooters to present their views and any evidence in support of reasonable and logical legislation which does not place any unnecessary financial or administrative burden upon those which it impacts. A detailed response on behalf of Firearms UK Association will be published in due course.

Further Reading

Natural England launches General Licences consultation
English general licences consultation – have your say
Natural England Consultation on Pest Bird Licensing Opens