The Conference organized by FESAC, AACTS, AMACS and Firearms United in Malta has attracted media attention – in addition to hall full of firearms enthusiasts and foreign guests from many organizations in Europe!
Nothing in the directive is yet settled, and even if the trilogue is formally closed, the European Parliament will still have to vote the approved "compromise political position”. Malta is in a key position, because they are taking over EU presidency for the next six months and one of the more challenging areas is the new firearms directive proposal, so the conference was an excellent event, where the message from the shooters was sent to the authorities – loud and clear.
The Maltese organizations spared no effort or expense setting up the conference on Saturday, January 7th: they had even organized an exhibit where they showed priceless historical artifacts that were originally sentenced to be destroyed by the proposals of the European Commission.
Among the firearms on display in the conference room were a prototype Fg42 (one of only two remaining from the original pre-production "Vorserie" run of 50 samples), and one of the very few surviving MKb42 rifles; an Mp18.1 sub-machine gun from 1918 and an Mp40/1 from 1942; a Luger P.08 from 1915; and many modern sporting firearms that are also part of the "endangered species" list that the European Commission would happily see confiscated and destroyed.
The first speaker was the Minister for Home Affairs and National Security Carmelo Abela, who shared his opinion about striking a balance between liberties and security. After him, Firearms United President Tomasz Stępień gave a status update about firearms directive to the local shooting enthusiasts and our international guests.
Conference continued with video greetings from Miriam Dallilta and Roberta Metsola, MEPs from Malta. IPSC director Sasja Berentsen continued by informing about the potential impacts to dynamic shooting disciplines and shared his opinion about the very odd “transient state” of competition rifles and how they change category depending on which magazine is inserted to the firearm.
The first part was concluded by the chairman of FESAC and “Illegal Lobbyist” Stephen Petroni who compared the European Commission's proposal to the destruction of the ancient temples of Palmyra at the hands of ISIS:
The Commission could never be forgiven for having the audacity of proposing the destruction of historical weapons.
We shall never ever ever forgive the Commission for coming up with these proposals
“I am not a professional lobbyist”, Petroni said. “What I do is out of passion, I do for people like you". These words were picked up by Malta Today and Malta Independent in their coverage of the conference – basically the only attention that the so-called "independent" mainstream media paid to the event.
The second half of the conference was started by Jean-Luc Addor, a member of the Swiss National Council as well as PRO-TELL representative, who simply stated (in many words) that the Swiss will not comply.
According to Mr. Addor, the freedom of the Swiss citizens shall not be compromised with this directive, and if necessary, there will a vote about it. Which there will be, since the Swiss are already preparing for it. Jean Karl Soler brought in scientific insight regarding the correlation between crime, violence and legal firearms, and it turns out that there is no strong correlation between legally held firearms and crime – except in as a positive way because it would seem that guns actually deter crime.
Representatives of Firearms United for Finland gave a brief nordic insight to firearms directive and described how Finnish organizations have reacted to firearms directive and after giving the microphone to Clive Brockdorff (Regional Director, IPSC Malta) we heard an interesting story about the Maltese firearms laws, which have become sensible and where the firearm ownership depends on the person – not the type of firearm. He put it in a nice way – there are people we can trust with any firearm and then there are those, who I would not trust with a wet spaghetti. Truer words are seldom spoken.
The goal of the local organizations in Malta is naturally that the directive would not have an impact on their already fuctional firearms legislation, created in cooperation with the firearms collectors and sport shooters – and it is truly a pleasure to see that all the local organizations have united and are working hard to achieve a common goal!
All in all – message was sent – and heard – loud and clear.
Together we win – divided we fall!