The “Firearms Association” is working hard and thoroughly in all those areas where our members may be interested in and need the provision of legal advice:
- By taking action intended to defend the sector’s interests at the relevant sections of the Department of Home Affairs, the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Secretariat of Trade and the Firearms Inspection.
- By holding meetings with high-level political representatives in order to defend the sector’s position where adverse decisions are taken.
- By providing legal assistance to its members where our members are levied penalties and where their rights are infringed.
- By being a member of International Organizations in order to defend the firearms sector at European Community institutions.
- By handling our members’ permits and licenses.
- By rendering Legal Advice regarding any sector-related aspect.
- By organizing the collective attendance of its members to the most important International Trade Fairs for the firearms sector, as well as Trade Missions and the attendance at other important events for the hunting industry.
EUROPEAN UNION REGULATIONS ON FIREARMS TRADE
The response to the conveyance of the message that firearms are dangerous should be that “firearms may be dangerous where they are not adequately handled, stored and maintained”.
European Community legislation on firearms does in fact guarantee compliance with this maxim and it is actually not only the most complete safety regulation but also the one providing the highest guarantee level.
- European Union Directive 91/4777, as amended by the European Union Directive 2008/51, efficiently harmonizes the European Union Members regulations on the acquisition and ownership of firearms for civilian use.
- All firearms marketed on the European market shall have an identifying number (stating the manufacturer’s name, manufacturing country or place, serial number and year of manufacturing) and they shall also be duly registered in the buyers’ name.
- Professional operators (i.e. manufacturers, importers, traders, repairers and brokers) shall be issued the relevant administrative authorization, which is granted only where both the applicant’s personal integrity and professional capacity is duly established.
- All professional operators shall keep records of their firearms.
- Those records shall be maintained even after cessation of activity.
- Each firearm can be traced to its possessor by means of the relevant public records.
- As a result of all the above, together with the European users’ culture, the flow of legal civil firearms to arms trafficking is inexistent.
EUROPEAN UNION REGULATIONS ON ARMS ACQUISITION
- In all European countries, the applicant of a license for firearms possession must meet the following requirements:
- To have supporting reasons therefore.
- To be over 18 years of age.
- Not to involve any kind of danger for himself, for public order or for public safety.
- Not to have committed any offense or deliberate violent summary offense (in some countries the issuance of the relevant license shall be denied even in the case of crimes or negligent summary offences).
- As a general rule, the applicant shall produce evidence about his / her dexterity in the safe handling of firearms or alternatively be a qualified shooter.
In the European Union there is a general ban on the possession of firearms falling under category A (i.e. prohibited arms):
- Launchers and other explosive artifacts intended for military use.
- Automatic firearms.
- Firearms under the guise of other items.
- Ammunition with penetrating / armor-piercing, explosive or incendiary projectiles, as well as projectiles for those ammunitions.
- In the largest number of the European Union members, any person applying for a firearms license shall have successfully passed a psycho technical test to establish his / her fitness / capacity.
- In all European Union members, licenses are withdrawn upon the commission of a deliberate or violent offense or summary offense, and in addition this will result in the firearm forfeiture.
- In most European Union members, the possession of firearms is subject to a quota. In the particular case of Spain, all kinds of firearms are subject to a quantitative restriction.
- In more than half the European Union members, citizens are firmly deterred from applying for and being issued firearms permits by either the relevant regulations or by their respective Administrations.
- As a general rule, it may be said that in the Member States, the applicable law on firearms trade and firearms possession for civil use is both complete and designed to guarantee safety, but on top of that it is highly restrictive.
- Even so, the real guarantee provided by the European system revolves around the responsibility and culture of users (not only in the European Union but throughout Europe). Countries like Sweden, Finland or Switzerland have the highest levels in the world regarding the ratio of firearms possession per person.
- Following the approval on March 2012 of the European Union Regulations 258/2010 by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union, whereby firearms foreign trade is regulated, European law has become not only the safest regulations but also the one offering the highest traceability levels in the whole of the civil and sporting firearms chain.
At the “Firearms Association” we work toward the goal of achieving the efficient development and implementation of current regulations by cooperating with the relevant authorities so that those regulations are correctly enforced and consequently by urging the attainment of the following objectives:
- Transnational cooperation. The possibility to have access to the information available to each and every Member State by all those persons in charge of the control of legal firearms in any other Member State is paramount. The implementation of this policy will result in a higher safety but at the same time will save resources and will facilitate the lawful trade and use of civil and sport firearms.
- Implementation of computer and telematic systems. No correct control will be feasible if it is not based on a digital and telematic system.
- European harmonization regarding Testing Bench system. CIP Testing Benches should be used in all Member States and those Benches should integrate their respective data bases into those held by the other authorities and those held by the sector operators.