Well, I have not been posting here for a while, mostly because I did not feel I had many smart things to contribute. But today I do.
We've heard of the troubles of gun groups in Europe, the gun laws there, and such things. I have long argued, from my observations, that one of the major reasons that European gun groups have been retreating without any real success for years is their refusal to endorse a self-defense based advocacy of the right to keep and bear arms (like American gun groups have done), and their refusal to go on the offensive, to expand gun rights rather than simply fight a defensive battle (like Americans and now Canadians have done successfully).
But now we hear about the creation of IAPCAR, the International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights. It seems to be a self-defense oriented group (i.e. promoting gun rights in the context of people being armed for self-defense, rather than sports). So I have decided to try and find out what those different new gun groups around the globe think, what their goals are, and whether any of them have departed from the old paradigm of 'guns are for hunting and clay shooting'.
I have emailed these groups and asked each of them two questions:
So now, for the use of the members here, I will post a guide to the various groups, and either information of their views or the replies I received.
I have reached your organization's site through IAPCAR. I would like to ask some questions about the goals of your organization.
1. Does [your group] support the ownership of firearms for sport only, or for self-defense as well?
2. *Is [your group] currently advocating any sort of expansion of gun rights in your country, either through making it easier for average individuals to own arms, or by expanding the kinds of arms that individuals may own? What changes is [your group] advocating in your country's current gun control regime?
I hope this is useful to all of you.
If you know of any groups I should add, please post here with additional information or contract data.
Group name: Firearms Owners Association of Australia
Group website: http://www.foaa.com.au/
View on self-defense:GoalsFor Self Defence as a Human RightCountry: AustriaMain Battle at the Moment is to Get Rid of the Long Arm Registration as has happened in Canada.
Group name: *SPSC - Sport & Practical Shooting Club,*
Group website: http://www.sportlich-praktisch.org/
View on self-defense:Although the purpose of SPSC, which is - above all - sporting and recreational use of firearms, we believe that righteous civilians own guns due to a*human right.
Of course*self defense*is a legitimate reason for ownership and use of firearms in the Austrian legal system.
Current objectives of SPSC with regard to gun rights are two:
a.) Deregulation of semi-automatic rifles. Unfortunately only a handful of semi-automatic rifles (e.g. Steyr AUG-Z; "Z" means special civil version) are approved for civilian ownership.
Semi-auto rifles which are not approved are considered "Kategorie A - Kriegsmaterial" (class A - war material) and, therefore, forbidden for civilians.
Civilian legal semi-auto rifles, e.g. Steyr AUG-Z, still require a firearms license (class B - only for permit holders).
Our aim: It would be desirable that all semi-auto rifles fell out of class A and within class B! At the moment I wite a "legal opinion" on this topic, which I'll send to ther Austrian parliament (legislator) soon.
b.) Proceedings with "IWÖ - Interessengemeinschaft liberales Waffenrecht in Österreich" (representation of interests for liberal gun laws in Austria):
Our aim: We would like IWÖ to join IAPCAR, in order to support the latter financially.
I spoke to some directors of IWÖ already in April about IAPCAR. And - being a member of IWÖ myself - sent a formal written request to IWÖs office. I requested that IAPCAR-affiliation shall be discussed in IWÖs annual general meeting on June 19th. For that purpose I'll travel to Vienna and advocate for IAPCARs interests.
Needless to say, IWÖ is a much more influential and powerful organization than SPSC when it comes to gun rights.
Group name: National Firearms Association
Group website: http://www.nfa.ca/
View on self-defense:
Goals:*Our interest is in the use of firearms for all activities, especially for defensive purposes , and not merely sport or hunting.* We regard firearms ownership as a an issue of property, civil, and human rights.
At present we are advocating repeal of repressive legislation (Bills C-17 and C-68) which was enacted by successive governments and replacement of these laws with initiatives that track criminals rather than ordinary citizens who own firearms.* We are also seeking changes to eliminate certain orders in council which limit the ability of Canadians to make use of their property and to pass it on to their heirs, such as the prohibited status. These changes would both represent expansion, really a return to making legal various types of arms that individuals may own and making it easier for average people to possess and use firearms.* **These general goals are posted on our web site at**http://www.nfa.ca/goals-immediate-fi...lation-reform* and summarized as:
**• Completely repeal the former bills C-17 and C-68, known as the Firearms Act—including scrapping the firearms registry, firearms licenses, and destroying the records.
• Eliminate firearm licences and the requirement to take any sort of course to own one's own property; ordinary firearms owners are not a threat to public safety, violent criminals are.
• Eliminate the automatic check of legal firearms owners when a person is stopped for a traffic offence and replace it with an instant check of criminal/parole/probation records; hunters and target shooters are not a threat to public safety - violent criminals are.
• Replace the licensing and registration provisions with a point of purchase instant criminal record check for firearms. This system would keep legal access to firearms away from criminal elements by making use of a practical list of people who should not have firearms, rather than by trying to make lists of those who may.
• Renounce the agreement to implement the UN marking regulations (Firearm Markings Regulation SOR 2004-275) that was passed in 2004.
• Cancel the introduction of the proposed new gun show regulations.
• Curtail the RCMP's attempts to unilaterally reclassify firearms.
• End prohibitions on magazine capacity.
• Restore handgun hunting as a legitimate use of a handgun.
• Eliminate punitive safe storage and transport requirements that have caused much grief to firearm owners in the absence of any wrongdoing.
• Remove the category of prohibited from firearms ownership so as to allow free exchange of property. The arbitrary nature of the prohibited class is a great affront to ordinary citizens who happen to own these firearms. It is also a means of stealing their property from them as many prohibited category firearms may not be passed on to heirs, or readily sold at their fair market value. If there is to be a "restricted category", then it must have broader reasons for use, which should allow combined reasons for ownership and use, and it must include at least hunting and self-defence along with the other categories.
• Encourage support for recreational and competitive shooting sports so as to eliminate the negative stigma created by this regressive legislation.
Country: Costa Rica
Group name: ProDefensa
View on self-defense:
Goals:Thank you for contacting ProDefensa. We are a grass-roots, pro-self defense, pro-gun rights organization in Costa Rica. As such, we don not distinguish between sports, hunting or defensive uses of firearms.*Country: ItalyYour second question is a bit broader in scope and encompasses several of our programs. One of our main ones right now is that of Legislative Reform. We submitted a proposal to our country's legislature last year, where we advocate for broader and more inclusive gun rights for the population. We are actively advocating such reform with the making of videos, on-line presence, communication with the news, etc. We hope to soon start our community outreach program.
Group name: FISAT
Group website: http://www.fisat.us/
View on self-defense:
Goals:1) we defende ALL legitimate possessions of firearms, self defence, hunting, sporting even airsoft (which has been targeted heavily) etc.
2) We think gun rights need to be expanded everywhere and also training on how to safely use them
1) a set of guidelines for concession of permit to carry firearms for personal defence, reducing Police authority discretion
2) a reduced bureaucracy to obtain gun related licenses*
3) a better access to the EU guns market with easier procedure to import a firearm from EU countries
Group Name: Right to Arms
Group website: http://vooruzhen.ru/
View on self-defense Believes in a right to self-defense.
Goals: Legalization of handguns for general civilian ownership (with a permit)
It is my goal to expand this list with a list of more pro-active, pro-self-defense firearms groups from around the world. I have already contacted everyone on the IAPCAR list, and either inquired around their views by email or read about them on their websites. If you know anyone I should contact other than these groups, I will be happy to expand my list.