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The UFA on behalf of France in the FESAC

mardi 10 mai 2022, par Michaël Magi vice Président de l’UFA

The Foundation for European Societies of Arms Collectors (FESAC) is gathering the main associations defending arms collectors and amateurs of 17 European countries.
After 2 years of remote conference meetings due to the COVID19 pandemic, the members of FESAC, whom UFA is member, with French representatives, finally managed to meet face to face in Malta, from the 20th to the 23rd of April, 2022.

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Cet article est disponible en français.
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The FESAC delegates. They are representing the national arms collectors associations for each FESAC member country.

The core topic of that meeting is key for the future of arms collectors, sport shooters, hunters, re-enactors and amateurs : the European directive on firearms control, that settle the foundation of minimal legislation that each European country must abid to, shall soon be reviewed by the European commission, and the objective is to insure, by all available means, that it won’t be a threat to the future of our passion.
The issues linked to the ban of lead were also covered.

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Each delegate expose the situation of his country, and especially the problems they had with the application of the european directive.

As for each year, the UFA prepared and presented for that meeting a report of the situation in France that we invite you to read in French or in English.
Previous years reports are gathered on that page and we also invite you to browse through them.

The UFA is rallying its troops

The main objective for UFA in going to that meeting was to convince the members of the FESAC of the need to be proactive when it comes to the future revision of the directive, by taking the lead, in becoming a source of inspiration and dialogue, as well as using of all available means to install fundamental warranties regarding the right to ownership of weapons for leisure activities in Europe : hunting, re-enactment and collection.

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Ylva Johansson, the european commissioner for home affairs, had made some disturbing announcements during the European Symposium on Firearms Control.

We were also warned by European commission strong will to sanction countries that do not fully comply to the current directives related to weapons : that’s what we learned first hand from the European commissioner responsible for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, during the European colloquium on firearms control organized by France in Chambord.

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Michaël Magi and Stéphane Nerrant represented France as UFA delegates. Stéphane Nerrant is also vice-president of the FPVA.

During that meeting, several countries voiced out their fears of the strengthening of the directive, as well as its implementation in local legislation, quite detrimenbtal for weapons enthusiasts. We had to convince countries whose legislation is currently less stringent that it is mandatory to act as from now to save and secure their acquired rights, that are more and more jeopardized in current climate.

UFA stakeholders have detailled a proposal of evolution of European directive, written and tuned by our lawyers and experts. Even if it is unrealistic to imagine that it could be adopted as such, it highlights the main issues in the current directive, and suggests key improvements for the future.
This project will lay the fundations for forthcoming works and actions of the FESAC toward the European commission and European parliament members with which we are in contact.

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The executive board is composed of the President Stephen Petroni (Malta), the Vice President Franck Göpper (Germany), the treasurer Pit Kaiser (Luxembourg) and the secretary Hanny Spruijt (Holland).

A European Network

At the end of the meeting the members of the FESAC have recorded this new position related to the revision of the European directive and have created a new commission to work on this subject.
We can’t detail any further the strategies that will be deployed nor the exact details of the ongoing work, but be sure that the UFA, backed up by other European country, will play a significative part in the actions to come.

Annual meetings of the FESAC also allows us to be informed of the evolution of other member’s countries regulations, thus allowing to leverage on the experience of a country in a specific field and to avoid facing issues already encountered when directives are merged into national regulation.
It’s also the opportunity to draw inspiration of numerous initiatives, realizations and successes of others members : we invite you to have a glimpse at previous meetings reports of the FESAC (FR & EN) to made up your mind on the subject.

Malta : an arms collector’s paradise

This meeting also permitted us to discover some private collections which are significant not only because of their size, but also because none of the firearms in these collections have been irreversibly damaged by conversion or by deactivation : Collectors in Malta are permitted to acquire and keep Category A and B firearms, something that we have advocated for several years in France, thus saving historically significant full-auto firearms, which are endangered in France. This demonstrates that it is possible to adhere to the European directive without creating any particular security or safety issue.

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Those history filled collections supplies museums and exhibitions and even sometimes movie stages, significantly taking a role in safekeeping military history, a principle supported by Maltese government.

In Malta, collectors are officialy declared and there are two levels of licence : "level A" to collect any quantity of all types of firearms of any period, provided they are not full auto, and "level A special" which is the same as above but allowing collection of full auto firearms, provided that they are manufactured before 1946.

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The French have to go to Malta to find this folding submachine gun Hotchkiss model CMH-2, while it is a French build firearm ! And this one is in a perfect shape and not deactivated ! This submachine gun was part of an exhibition about automatic firearms in a public location, unthinkable in France.

It was a competitor of the MAT-49 during the trials for the replacement of the French army main submachine gun in 1949, but rejected due to its complexity and production costs. A masterpiece of the French military heritage, totally impossible to collect in his own country if not deactivated with the new european/french rules, making it impossible to disassemble or manipulate.

You can find a presentation video of this interesting foldable submachine gun by the french channel « Le Feu aux Poudres » (but deactivated !) and in english by Ian McCallum from the famous « Forgotten Weapons » channel.

You can find the official post about the meeting on the official FESAC Facebook page.

You can click on the pictures to enlarge them.


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