3/4 EU firearms directive;
The sneaky proposed changes to the EU firearms directive would have been the biggest catastrophe in the history of airsoft. They wanted to classify all replicas in Europe as firearms. It would have made most airsoft replicas illegal (all the full auto ones, for sure), and the remaining few would become exceptionally hard to obtain. This is exactly how the law is in Australia, where players simply regard it as a straight up ban. It’s a ban by any other name. And the European Commision never gave any justification or explanation for it!
But lobbying from the airsoft community seems to have paid off. The latest leaked draft of the proposal coming from the Trilogue defines a firearm as a device which fires live rounds. Seems that the European Commision has been forced to do a U turn on this issue, airsoft and replicas will not be reclassified as firearms.
There’s still a slight problem in that they seem to have slipped back into prior wording defining a firearm, which is a device utilising ‘combustible propellant’. Of course, gas powered airsoft replicas use propellant which is often combustible. UKAPU and EAA (European Airsoft Association) brought this up with Parliament earlier this year and they voted to change the wording in their draft, but appears that this amendment hasn’t been adopted in Trilogue.
This is one of the reasons they call the Trilogue ‘the death of democracy’. It’s a secret meeting hidden from the public, where the result of voting by our elected representatives can be discarded by appointed, unaccountable, anonymous bureaucrats.
We’ve contacted the Rapporteur again to ask for the correct wording to be included in the final amendment. The Rapporteur, Vicky Ford MP, has done a great deal for airsoft so far.
It’s hard to predict what the commission will do to live firearms owners in the new directive. It seems like they will try and ban as much as they can get away with. President Jean-Claude Juncker has been trying to smear firearms owners and the european parliament, saying that the gun lobby is overruling the will of the people of Europe. But this evil ‘gun lobby’ IS the people of Europe, it’s sportsmen like you and I writing to our representatives, asking them to save our hobby. No firearms or airsoft enthusiast should sit back and allow the anti gun lobby to chip away at us, allowing them to ban a few more categories of gun every decade till there’s no community left.
You can keep up to date with the situation by following Firearms UK and Firearms United