AMACS Past, Present and Future
The Arms, Armour & Militaria Society (AAMS) that later evolved into the current Association was set up in 1985. The seven founding members were:
- Stephen A. Petroni (4th from left)
- Gaston Agius Fernandez (2nd from left)
- Carmel Sciberras (not present in above picture)
- Alfred Cuschieri (6th from left)
- Philip De Domenico (late, his photo hangs in the background)
- Joseph Borda (1st from left)
- Francis Galea Naudi (7th from left)
Also present in the above group photo, which was taken on the occasion of the inauguration of the AMACS exhibition held at the former Officers’ Mess during Military Mtarfa 2010, in are two members who joined later:
- Harold Farrugia (3rd from left)
- Joseph Schembri (5th from left)
The origins of AAMS were the result of a call to action by Stephen A. Petroni in response to a Parliamentary Bill to amend customs legislation and introduce duties on imported collectors items, a counter-productive measure that would discouraged private collectors’ initiatives to import rare and interesting items that ultimately enrich national heritage.
The founding members approved a statute establishing the Arms, Armour & Militaria Society (AAMS) on the 12 June 1985. 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 are but a few 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 10 July 2004, A New Page In Our History
Foreseeing periods of even greater challenges with the introduction of the new Arms Act and the establishment of new target shooting disciplines, our members approved changes to the statute on 10 July 2004, transforming AAMS into a new Association comprised of five five Clubs each catering for particular cultural or sporting activities:
- ASSOCIATION OF MALTESE ARMS COLLECTORS & SHOOTERS (AMACS)
- Malta Arms & Militaria Society (MAMS)
- Malta Muzzle-Loader Shooting Club (MMSC)
- Malta Airgun Shooting Club (MASC)
- Malta Rifle and Pistol Shooting Club (MRPSC)
- Malta Crossbow Shooting Club (MCSC)
Other clubs were added later:
- Malta Tactical Airsoft Club (MTAC)
- Malta Clay Pigeon Shooting Club (MCPSC)
- Battlefront Living History Group (BLHG)
Total AMACS Membership currently stands at over 900, which number includes a growing number of female members. In 2012 the Association moved into its former but greatly enlarged Tigne’ Point premises which house offices, members’ area and bar and a games room. AMACS is also currently preparing to launch a 10m indoor airgun range located in the same premises.
The Association is affiliated with several international bodies:
- Federation of European Societies of Arms Collectors (FESAC)
- The World Forum on the Future of Sports Shooting (WFSA)
- International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC)
- European Metallic Silhouette Shooting Association (AETSM)
- International Metallic Silhouette Shooting Union (IMSSU)
- World Crossbow Shooting Association (WCSA)
- National Rifle Association (NRA)
AMACS shooting events and competitions are held in various shooting ranges in Malta and Gozo. Shooting trips to Sicily are also organized.
AMACS Aims & Objectives
- To establish and maintain a non-political central body for persons or organizations whether in Malta or abroad, who qualify to be Members of the Association in terms of Chapter 2 below, and who, in a common endeavour to set ethical standards in the practice of the below-mentioned activities and diffuse such practice, are engaged in, concerned with and, or interested in:
- Target-shooting sports
- Historical re-enactment
- The collection and research or arms, militaria and related articles
- To organise and promote activities in order to help the Members of the Association (hereafter referred to as ‘the members’) to develop their knowledge and skills in matters relating to the Objects of the Association, for their own personal benefit and cultural enrichment as well as that of the general public.
- To protect the legal interests of the members and to provide a forum for regular consultation between the same on matters of common interest.
- To communicate with Government or other Public Authorities, constituted bodies or other such kindred bodies on all matters affecting the interests of the members, and to represent the interests of the members in negotiations with such Authorities or bodies.
- To acquire, generate and diffuse knowledge related to the Objects of the Association.
- To print, or publish newspapers, periodicals, pamphlets, brochures, and other such material, for the spreading of information with respect to matters relating to the Objects of the Association.
- To approve a code of ethics incorporating a set of rules and regulations intended to establish and enhance standards, as well as any other matter which the Association shall deem fit to include.
- To set up sub-committees to deal with specific issues in the interest of the members of the Association.
- To co-operate with and/or become a member or associate of any Association or Federation, local or foreign, whose main objects are identical or similar to those of the Association.
- To raise funds by means of subscriptions from members and levies on members or otherwise, for all the purposes and Objects of the Association, in such amounts and in such manner as provided for in the rules.
- To lend, borrow or raise, or secure the payment of money in such manner as the Association shall think fit, upon such terms or conditions as shall be deemed expedient.
- To accept, undertake, or execute any trust or gift which may be deemed to be in accordance with, or which may further or benefit the Objects of the Association.
- To construct, purchase, take on lease, or acquire under any other legal title, land or buildings as are necessary or convenient for the purposes of the Association, and to maintain and alter same according to necessity.
- To do all such things as are incidental and/or conducive to the attainment of the Objects of the Association.
- Without prejudice to anything contained in any of the above clauses, it is hereby declared and established that the Association is non-profit making and for such purpose the distribution of any of the assets of the Association to its members shall be prohibited, except for the payments of bona fide salaries, wages or honorarium, to its administrators.? This shall be applicable in all cases except those where the economic activity carried out by the Association shall be done as an ancillary activity for the purpose or in connection with assisting the Association to carry out its main objects and purposes in accordance with this statute.
Today, AMACS is passing through a period of consolidation after is notable achievements. We now intend to make the best of what has been achieved to date for the benefit of our members. AMACS is not the kind of organization which rests on its laurels. Indeed, our past successes shall spur us on to ever greater efforts in our aim of furthering the objectives for which our association was set up.