Relief over EU directive changes

Increased restrictions on firearms used for sports and pest control are looking increasingly unlikely, after a European Parliament committee discussed changes to earlier proposed amendments to the firearms directive.

Vicky Ford MEP chaired the Internal Market Committee (IMCO) and has been credited with ensuring that amendments which would have damaged shooting are not taken forward.

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If passed into European law as expected this autumn, this updated directive will largely focus on closing loopholes around deactivated and imitation firearms while also introducing robust controls around high capacity semi-automatic firearms.

This final amended directive means that .22 rimfire rifles used for pest control in the UK will not be caught up in new restrictions and those under the age of 18 may, it is hoped, continue to possess their own firearms.

BASC chairman Peter Glenser said: “It is important to close loopholes which allow firearms to fall into the hands of terrorists. But it is also essential that new laws do not unfairly penalise those who wish to shoot for sport or for a living.

“Vicky Ford has been a steadying influence throughout all the stages of the process and I’m sure she will continue with this approach as talks start with EU governments to deliver the final directive.

“Whatever the outcome of Britain’s membership of the European Union, it is crucial that BASC continues to work with decision makers in Europe. It is business as usual.”

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