The EU Commission is busy pushing a new agenda to ban the use of lead in ammunition. It is basing its action on a report by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) but is taking its objectives to an extreme, which gives rise to suspicion that the EC is out to take another shot at legal firearm owners across the EU following its failure to implement the infamous outright bans proposed in November 2015, a few days after the Paris terrorist attacks. Thankfully, the united action of European bodies representing collectors, sport shooters, hunters, dealers and manufactures had defeated the proposal with the support of many MEPs, and the final version of the Directive was considerably watered-down.

This time, the manner in which the EU is proposing to implement the lead ban and the strong and justified reaction to it by the hunting community represented by the European Federation for Hunting and Conservation (FACE) may wrongly give the impression that this issue is just about hunting. However, the dangers of this new EU initiative are far more reaching, as FACE General Secretary Dr. David Scallan explains in this video.

Our concerns are that target shooting on outdoor ranges is being endangered through the draconian measures being proposed by the EC. Moreover, alternatives to lead ammunition in rifles and pistols used in target shooting are not evolved enough to allow their use and deliver the same results. The ban on lead will also seriously affect reloaders while collectors of antique and vintage arms, who occasionally use their firearms to understand and study their function, will be hard hit too.

It is disgraceful that such action is being taken without a proper impact assessment to determine the manner in which the measures would affect millions of EU citizens. This is a repeat of what happened in 2015 and it is not surprising that support for the EU project is declining among European citizens.

We appeal to our Maltese MEPs to stand up and be counted and to defend our community as had been done in 2015-2018.