MEP Nicholson highlights concerns of hunting groups

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Ulster Unionist MEP Jim Nicholson has called for a sensible revision of proposals that could have a disproportionate impact on the hunting and country sports community, particularly in the UK.

In advance of the meeting in Brussels the MEP and his Ulster Unionist colleague Danny Kinahan MP recently met with Tommy Mayne, Director BASC (British Association for Shooting and Conservation) Northern Ireland to learn more about local BASC members’ concerns regarding the Commission’s proposals.

Community stakeholders from across Europe were invited to Brussels this week to share concerns about the European Commission’s proposed revisions to the EU’s firearms directive.

These proposals will now come before MEPs in the months ahead for consideration and amendment.

Mr Nicholson, speaking after the meeting, said: “I was delighted to join with European parliamentary colleagues and stakeholders to discuss a number of concerns about the potential impact of this proposal from the commission on legitimate gun use for hunting and target shooting.

“In fact, my understanding is that the commission itself has conceded that parts of the proposal are ill-thought out and badly drafted.

“My European, Conservatives and Reformists parliamentary group colleague Vicky Ford MEP will lead the parliament’s report on the matter. I know she is keen to see these concerns addressed.

“In order to get the best outcome coordination is key, and it is extremely valuable for stakeholders and members of the hunting and target shooting community from right across Europe to have the opportunity to come together.

“We are all in agreement that evidence-based actions that reduce the flow of illegal firearms to criminals are to be supported.

“This is best achieved by ensuring that any revision to the directive separates lawful ownership and the use of sporting guns from illegal firearms used in terrorism and organised crime,” said the MEP.