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Fieldsports organisations are urging shooters to respond to a European-wide consultation on the harm caused by the criminal use of firearms in the EU. The consultation is considered biased and there are fears that the results could be used further to restrict legal gun ownership across the EU.

BASC is concerned that the results will be used to “gain legitimacy from ‘public opinion’ to restrict further the legal acquisition and possession of civilian firearms”.

In a statement, it said there “is no link between the legal ownership of firearms and illicit trafficking of firearms”, as might be implied by some of the questions.

These questions include: “to what extent should the EU establish common rules for the authorisation of persons to produce and/or sell firearms?”; “to what extent should the EU establish stricter rules on who may be authorised to possess a firearm (eg on basis of age, mental health, or possession of a criminal record)?”; and “to what extent should the EU seek to control the sale and possession of ammunition as well as firearms?”

A BASC spokesman told Shooting Times: “This is one of the most biased questionnaires we have seen and we are concerned that the results will be used by the European Commission to propose new restrictions on the legal use of firearms. To stop that happening we would urge all shooters to complete the online questionnaire by clicking option 1 for every question.”

The rest of this article appears in the 1st May issue of Shooting Times.

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