Update on Proposal 2015/0269, the proposal to amend the EU firearms directive (for clarity this is not related to the policing and crime bill, this is a separate issue with even greater potential consequences)-

The proposal is currently in the Trilogue stage. This is a set of informal negotiations between the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission. During this process the 3 bodies will agree on what goes into the final proposal, from there it’s a yes/no vote on whether to implement the final proposal into the directive, after that the directive is implemented in national law. The trilogue is a tad secretive and we’ll not likely know the results till its done. The airsoft community has done what it can to influence the process. Now we’ll just have to wait and see what comes.

The IMCO current draft of the proposal, based on the amendments voted on by the European Parliament, is airsoft friendly. But the commission’s document is essentially the first draft of the proposal, which wants to see all replica firearms classed as real firearms (and all firearms with ‘military appearance’ banned, to boot). They will find a mid point between the two documents. So we have to hope that the IMCO document is fully implemented, as far as airsoft is concerned. This should be the case, there doesn’t seem to be much desire from the Council to reclassify replicas as firearms. Vicky Ford MEP is on side (she’s met regularly with airsoft representatives from our parent body European Airsoft Association and Cybergun/ASG) and understands the ridiculousness of the original proposal, in regards to airsoft. As the Rapporteur Ms. Ford will be involved in the trilogue throughout.

I’m not sure where Firearms shooters stand at the moment with the proposal, its gotten quite complicated. I understand that de-act owners could substantially loose out at the moment.

We’ll let you know when we hear more. Airsoft should be OK but keep your fingers crossed.

Matt Furey-King
Chair, UK Airsoft Players Union