The Countryside Alliance is worried new proposals are being added to European firearms discussions taking place today when it appeared a solution had been reached

The organisation says that is is “deeply concerned” by the proposals, feeling that many are “unworkable”.

Today, 11 April,  the  European Council Working Party on General Matters including Evaluation (GENVAL) are meeting to discuss proposed amendments to the 1991 Firearms Directive.

It is the supplementary proposals that have alarmed the Countryside Alliance. For example, the proposal that firearms and ammunition (including shotgun ammunition) must be locked in separate compartments. Also the banning of all-semi automatic firearms with the ability to hold more than six rounds without reloading. This would include almost all semi-automatic .22lrs in the UK.

Countryside Alliance chief executive Tim Bonner said: “The European Council believes it needs quick-fire legislation to gain back public trust in the fight against the terrorism; unfortunately, and as we have continuously stated, these proposals will have no effect on terrorists but a significant effect on the legal shooting community.

“Wholly workable proposals”

“The Countryside Alliance is working as part of FACE to make sure that MEPs and the European Council understand the potential impacts of these wholly unworkable proposals.

“We have already seen sensible steps taken by the European Parliament led by Vicky Ford MEP and the IMCO Committee. We hope the meeting on April 11 will see further positive steps towards a workable text that can be put successfully in front of the Commission in September.

“There are improvements that can be made to the Firearms Directive, be it enhanced traceability across member states or updated deactivation regulations. However, the Countryside Alliance will not stand for ill-judged and knee-jerk decisions that will impose further restrictions on legal firearm holders but be no hindrance to those who commit illegal activities.”