Please watch this video for a short summary of the situation.
Here’s the full explanation;
For many years The European Airsoft Association has been concerned that a European directive could damage or even ban airsoft. Once implemented, all EU member states are obliged to put regulations into local law. At that point it’s too late, you cannot stop it in your own country. Unless we act, this exact scenario could happen very soon.
An anti-firearms group within the EC has published a proposal which primarily aims to get rid of all semi auto live firearms and most deactivated firearms. They are playing on people fears after the horrible terrorist attacks of the last year, but this is a cynical excuse for them to pursue a pre-existing agenda. The terrorist attacks have been carried out with illegally held weapons that have mostly come from military armouries via armed conflicts in the Balkans. These events are not connected to civilian firearms or to replica firearms either.
Although they present no argument against the current status of non-convertible replica weapons in the paper they throw in this subtle, yet devastating change to the classification of replicas-
(iii) In Category C, the following points are added: “5. Alarm and signal weapons, salute and acoustic weapons as well as replicas
This would mean that all replicas in Europe would become ‘firearms subject to declaration’. This would mean the following changes (subject to local laws);
• All replicas would need to be registered
• You would need to apply for permission to own a replica and would likely be subject to checks and licencing
• All replicas would be allocated a serial number
• You would require a European firearms pass to take replicas to a foreign country
• Internet sales would be banned (as the proposal also puts forward a ban on remote sales for all firearms).
We believe this change will be impractical, extremely hard (probably impossible) and expensive to implement, take resources and focus away from criminals and terrorism, will ruin a thriving airsoft retail industry and will not make citizens safer at all. As you may be aware, a worrying historic occurrence in some European countries has been forcing the register of firearms as a precursor to a ban and confiscation.
Here’s what you can do to prevent this-
1. Share this news story. Get the word out to your airsoft friends and contacts. Translate it into your native language. Use the hash tag#airsoftineurope
2. Fill out the feedback form for the proposal.https://ec.europa.eu/transparency/regdoc/…
3. Email your MEP. Tell them why they need to vote against this proposal!
4. Email a member of SEDE (EU Subcommittee on Security and Defence)http://www.europarl.europa.eu/committe…/…/sede/members.html…
Please stick to these rules-
• BE NICE! We want to win them over to our point of view, not make them see us as angry, unpleasant or single minded! Most MEPs won’t even be aware of the change affecting replicas, or the consequences of the change.
• STICK TO THE POINT. Tell them that non-convertible replicas should not be classified as firearms by being added to Category C of directive 91/477/EEC
• TALK ABOUT YOU. Tell them about how the changes will hurt you and your friends, your industry, your hobby. Talk from a personal perspective.
• FEED BACK THE RESPONSES. Forward all responses you get to me, furey_x (at) yahoo.co.uk . We need to know how MEPs feel about this paper. I am building a database of the airsoft allies and supporters.
This amendment is being fast tracked (they are even going to skip the normal Economic impact assessment) and could be voted through in a very short space of time, so you need to act as soon as you read this (if you haven’t already).
Airsoft players should also stand with their cousins in the live firearms and deactivated firearms communities, they will also have their hobbies destroyed when none of us have any connection to recent events. Together with them, it is possible to act as a huge grass roots body and put down this ridiculous proposal. The EAA will also be lobbying the EC directly so like our FB page and we will keep you up to date with any new information.
Matt Furey-King, President European Airsoft Association
Proposal for a directive of the European parliament and of the council amending Council Directive 91/477/EEC on control of the acquisition and possession of weapons
Council directive (91 /477/EEC) (specifically, annex 1, Category C — Firearms subject to declaration)