Quote from the new EU Firearms Directive amendment proposal. Voting took place on the 14th of March 2017 with 70% of MEPs voting in favour of the proposal:
“Directive 91/477/EEC is not applicable to other items, such as airsoft devices, which do not correspond to the definition of a firearm and are therefore not regulated by that Directive.”
The Airsoft sport will survive in its current form after an extended process of negotiations and considerations between Members of European parliament and industry pioneers which began late in 2015 which many thought to be a swift change to firearms laws taking advantage of the terrible terror attacks in France and Belgium.
In this effort, the European Airsoft Association joined representatives from many other sporting federations affected by this directive to inform the decision makers of all aspects of our respective sports and advocate their positive position in European society.
While the European Airsoft Association has worked tirelessly to inform and influence the outcome of this directive, we are extremely thankful and proud of the combined efforts that we have shared with representatives of ASG and Cybergun amongst other individual players and enthusiasts to shape this outcome.
In no uncertain terms, Amendment 107 (A8-0251/107 Details found here: Link) of the Directive 91/477/EEC has passed voting with a direct reference that states that an Airsoft device does not correspond to the definition of a firearm, meaning that an airsoft device will not be affected by this directive.
By definition, AEG’s and AEP’s, GBB’s, BFG’s and HPA systems are Airsoft devices and will not be subject to new regulation at this point in time.
This is the best outcome that we could have hoped to achieve and one that has been hard won.
What Happens Next
Now that the majority the compromise text of Directive 91/477/ECC has passed voting, it will have to pass the Council of Ministers before it can be implemented. At this moment we have no time frame on this however we will publish further updates once we have more information.
Although the Airsoft sport has achieved a positive result this time around, we will no doubt be under scrutiny in the future.
Preparations for this have already began and EVERY airsoft player has influence in this. It is imperative that the airsoft sport becomes an organised and structured sport recognised across Europe, governed by national associations with principles that are harmonious across all territories.
To achieve this, you as a player can get involved in local clubs. Local clubs need to get involved in national associations and national associations need to join the European Airsoft Association.
Together with your support, we stand a far greater chance of protecting the Airsoft sport. Without you, we may not succeed next time.
If your country does not have an association / Federation and you have the time to organise one, the EAA are here to help and guide you through the process. You will be supported by many well organised and long standing associations from all across Europe. Just as they support each other as respected member states of the European Airsoft Association.