On 18 November 2015, reacting to the tragic events in Paris of 13 November, the European Commission rushed a proposal to review the Firearms Directive. FACE supports the European Commission’s initiatives in the fight against terrorism and illegal practices but questions how the Commission’s proposal to further restrict the lawful possession of firearms by hunters and sports shooters would prevent terrorists from committing atrocities.
FACE subscribes to several elements in the Commission proposal, including improvement of the traceability of firearms, deactivation standards and better exchange of information between Member States, which are necessary to duly protect EU citizens. However, FACE rejects that measures making it more difficult for hunters and sport shooters to acquire legal firearms in the European Union will prevent criminals and terrorists from obtaining illegal weapons and committing atrocities.
FACE applauds the leadership shown by the European Commission to intervene against terrorism with great determination. Our legitimate fight against terrorism must not unduly affect the freedom of law abiding citizens to lawfully acquire, use, transport and store hunting firearms, guaranteed by the Firearms Directive - Michl Ebner, FACE President
FACE calls on the European Commission to respect the rights of hunters and sport shooters, who represent the largest group of legal and responsible users of civilian firearms in the European Union and who are among the most intensely controlled and law abiding social groups in the EU.
FACE and its Members seek to ensure that hunters can acquire, possess, use and travel with firearms and ammunition safely and without unjustified, bureaucracy, costs or restrictions. Many of these aspects are presently covered by EU law, either through full harmonisation or minimum rules.