Eu commission’s new proposal for Firearms directive has met almost universal disapproval in all levels of Finnish government and in NGOs. Most vocal in their opposition have been Finnish Reserve Officers’ Federation, Finnish Hunters’ Federation and Finnish Reservists’ Association. Ministry of interior went so far that it announced that it cannot support the Commissions proposal on Firearms Directive. Ministry of defense concurred on this. All mentioned NGOs are deeply concerned about Commissions attempt of seizing self loading weapons from reservists and hunters alike. Finnish broadcasting Corporation ran a piece( in English) where mister Petteri Orpo, Minister of Interior, tells how the new Directive is unacceptable for Finland.
In fact only naysayer in this was a one leftist Social Democratic Party member mr Tuomioja. Who is well known for his pacifist pro Russian views. He has made name for himself as most anti arms anti defense member of parliament imaginable. We have not yet hear official stand of SDP as of today.
Apart from obvious violation of personal property, that at least Finnish constitution does not allow, there is also a question of how this directive is supposed to cut down terrorism? While concerns about different techniques of firearm deactivation may be founded on reality, most of the EU Commission’s paper is not: Terrorist haven’t resorted on using semiautomatic firearms in their activities. They have not applied firearms licences for their terrorist activities, nor have they supplied medical statements on their medical condition. Thus it is utterly clear, for all except to the Palace Mandarins in Brussels, that Commission’s new proposal will not do anything for Terrorism problem.
Finland is one of the last countries in Europe to have universal Conscription in effect and also a country that relies on large reserve to defend her territory. These are the realities that Finnish defense planning, and this is why both Reservist organizations are largest shooting clubs in Finland. In fact this shooting practice is so important that Finnish Defense Forces and Reserve organizations have devised their own shooting discipline to teach appropriate firearms use in combat and real life conditions. A bit like IPCS, but focuses mainly on Assault rifle and pistol as personal weapons, but where it is also possible to use shotguns and sniper rifles. This discipline is called SRA, Sovellettu Reserviläis Ammunta, which approximates into Applicated Reservist’s Shooting in English. SRA uses semiautomatic rifles to give look and feel of real life assault weapons for shooters, and promote good and fast marksmanship.
Eu commission confessed their urge to put a fast one past Europeans in their haste to use fear springing from Paris and Brussels terror attacks to seize weapons off from law abiding citizens. This really emphasizes EU’s undemocratic nature, as in their haste, Commission told that they omitted to do any analysis of effects of the Directive and that they did not take into account views of NGOs at all. The overall shoddiness of Commissions process in this came into light when Commission admitted that that had not taken into account defense applications of these arms in Eastern Europe.
These concerns have been shared with Czech Rebublic and Swedish governments, and I strongly urge all stakeholders to do their utmost for repelling this encroachment of our rights.