Thirty-four years ago today, on Wednesday 12 June 1985, a group of fourteen persons who were passionate about the fascinating history of arms and militaria met in an office in Marsa and agreed that Malta was lacking an organisation which represented their interests and which was ready to take their desires to the next level.

They had answered to a call by Stephen A. Petroni, who at the time was campaigning against a Bill intended to subject the importation of collectors’ items to customs duty and who felt that there was no one to speak for arms and militaria collectors.

Those present at the meeting read and approved a draft statute setting up the ‘Arms, Armour & Militaria Society’ (AAMS) and elected an ad hoc committee to get the ball rolling. The members of this committee were:

  • 001   Stephen A. Petroni
  • 002   Gaston Agius Fernandez
  • 003   Charles Sciberras
  • 004   Alfred Cuschieri
  • 005   Philip de Domenico (late)

The other nine who attended, who were given membership numbers 006 to 014, joined as members and, together with the other five members are referred to as the Founding Fathers.

  • 006   Joseph Borda
  • 007   Francis Galea Naudi
  • 008   Carol Marguerat
  • 009   Saviour Garcia
  • 010   Mario Facciol
  • 011   Joseph Scerri
  • 012   Mario Gauci
  • 013   Godwin Hampton (late)
  • 014   Joseph Schembri

The young organisation then led and organised other collector bodies active in various fields into one lobby group for the purpose of presenting the Government with its objections and recommendations. Eventually, the Bill was amended and the new Act re-established the duty-free status of collectors items and antiques. Thus, AAMS scored its first of many successes and contributed to the gradual enrichment of our country’s cultural heritage.

Strong determination and a sense of civic awareness were to characterise AAMS and later AMACS interventions whenever cultural and sporting issues of national interest were at stake. The Association has set a very impressive track record since those early days. Here some principle achievements:

  • successfully lobbying for a change in Customs legislation, 1985
  • organisation of the first arms and militaria exhibition, 1986
  • organisation of the first re-enactment event, 1988
  • introduction of black powder shooting sports, 1989
  • first use of full-scale dioramas in an exhibition, 1991
  • proposing EU Directive-based gun legislation, 1992
  • lobby for revised policy on collectors and target shooters, 1995
  • introduction of target shooting, 1996
  • setting up of the Gun Owners Federation of Malta, 2000
  • proposing and drafting of the new Arms Bill, 2003-2004
  • realising the objective of introducing the Arms Act, 2005
  • concluding the publication of the Arms Licensing Regulations, 2006
  • achieving further improvements to the Arms Act & Regulations, 2013
  • Federation of Arms Collectors & Target Shooters with AACTS, 2016

AMACS continues in its mission to serve the community and help it in achieving its objectives for the greater good of the nation.