FESAC and the Rights of European Arms Collectors

Today I am joined by Mr. Stephen Petroni, chairman of FESAC – the Foundation for European Societies of Arms Collectors. FESAC is an organization set up to advocate for and protect the rights of European arms collectors at the European Union level. Here in the United States many people shrug off gun collecting in Europe as a lost cause when in reality American and European collectors have a lot to learn and gain from cooperation, as do collectors within each nation in the European Union. Just as the US is a collection of states with widely differing gun laws, so is the EU a collection of nations with diverse laws and regulations. If we want to promote the preservation of military history worldwide, we must work together worldwide to support each other.


  1. Maybe I just haven’t heard of it yet – but I’ve never heard of any Gun Civil Rights group outside of the United States that made it their mission to defend the individual right of self defense… it seems every group I’ve learned about focuses solely on the right to “collect” guns, not to use them in defense of life or property.
    If that is true, well… just one more reason the United States is superior to all other countries in terms of pure individual freedom.

    • I live in Spain. A country with very restrictive guns laws. And, believe or not, the bad guys, (mostly) DONT CARRY GUNS. Or, if they carry, mostly again, they dont use them

      Yes, I know that this statement can be counterintuitive. But, belive me, it´s true. Nobody I´m aknowlegded with has a gun. And we don´t feel unsafe or scared. And I live in what you can call a “bad neighbourhood” in a near to million people city.

      I know theat the relation between guns in private hands and homicides it´s not straightforward. But the ratio of homicides in Spain its 5 times lower that in US. Just in case there are some relationship, I prefer strict gun laws.

      I know that statement it´s not going to be popular in this place, but may be worth a bit of thinking about.

      Sprry for any misspellings or grammar faults. English it´s not (clearlry) my native language.

      • Crazy isn’t it. Mind you, Cowboys etc; they got used to it: Calmed down eventually, Wyatt Earp etc, and on the plus side if “in the unlikely event you ever need an AR, you have 6! Da da!” who can argue with that.

        That’s why you should carry it at all times. And have night vision goggles attached to your helmet. Redcoat! No it was a deer… One day. Redcoat!! No… Vigilance.

        I respect the personal freedom lark though, which after all is what Merica is all about otherwise they’d still be living under our benevolent rule and paying the correct amount of duty on tea: A revolutionary concept seemingly.

        So good luck to them, I find it strange they can’t seem to grasp the concept of a safety nowadays though.

        • “I actually see the American revolution as a continuation of the English Civil War, the Puritan commonwealth was crushed with the restoration and: Well, shit happens; they took not being Catholic very seriously back then.”

          • Your probably a Catholic aren’t you in Spain… Poke. Sat there, in cahoots with the Pope… Around a cauldron, sacrificing a goat to emperor Nero.

          • Essentially if the monarchy hadn’t been restored we’d never have lost our baccy supplying colony, good job Monck “Merrr”

          • I actually think Nero was misunderstood, he supported the British Queen against “A significant slight, they were quite rude back then.” done by his own Roman generals etc. But now the “conquered” I.e. Us; call him, along the lines of the victors who were our original oppressors.

            Anyway this is probably off topic somewhat so I shall conclude thus.

          • “I actually think Nero was misunderstood, he supported the British Queen”
            Could you be more precise? Who you understand under British Queen? Who you understand under Nero?

          • “Big tits right, you have such a term in Russia.”

            She milked all the Celts. Type thing… Without being incestuous… I mean it was a long time ago, Romans got milked off a Wolf so like…

          • “long time ago, Romans got milked off a Wolf so like”
            Assuming that under Booodica! you understand Boudicca then
            Time mismatch, as at least according to Wikipedia, she died around +60
            while Romans got milked off a Wolf so like no later than -753

          • Technicalities, they looved to suck on the wolfs titties.

            Like Celts liked to drink from the Skulls of their slain enemies, to harness their knowledge; I did say this was a long time ago.

      • Homicide is simply a function of the local population.

        If the US had the population of Spain with the present laws it has, it would have the same amount of homicides.

        • Not at all. When I talk about violent homicide rates, obviously, I speak of relative rates. I.e per 100.000 habs, Spain it´s 0.69 per 100.000 habs. USA it´s 5.37 per 100.000 habs.

    • Good job on taking Ian’s advice about working WITH
      other countries on these issues. Take your simple minded nativist jingoism somewhere else.

          • Next time they’ll probably be on Pickup trucks with Dshk’s or something from Syria, made to look like oversized ice cream cones on the top dodgy, rusty looking uaz platforms with halal ice cream markings on: And doubtless they’ll go through multiple borders in about 9 hours.

    • You need to realize that the idea of using gun for selfdefence (against bad individual or even tyrant government) became extremely taboo in western europe, you can often get the sense from german, french etc gun communities, that protection, defence etc “Is not proper use for guns” or they simply avoid this topic, if you have balls to verbalize such an idea, (which Is self evident in the US, czech, Israel etc), you are going to be labeled extremists and for gun enthusiasists this is especially dangerous and if you dont see why, I reccomend to google “end of englishshooting” channel and what happened to the guy. Similar events happened in the germany, where gun permit was revoked on the ground of joining peaceful political protest against Angela Merkel etc, it really happens, there is invisible political-ideological policing of gun owners in western EU and it is going to be even worse! This is reason, why western european gun folks exercise such a mental gymnastic and self-censoring to fight for gun rights only thru sport use and collecting argument, because even suggest different use.. you are basically going to be labeled extremists and lose your guns, end of dialogue, thats why. You really need balls, or take extra attention to anonymity so police cant trace you and revoke your permit for being “alt right dangerous extremists”.
      Fortunately the situation is nearly opposite in eastern europe.
      We do have something similar to NRA in czech republic gunlex . cz and people behind it are THE ones who ACTUALLY deserve most credit for partially succesful fight against new european comission disarming directive, it however takes different approach than NRA in the US. It is more kind of very patient, open expertise discussion with public, as well as with polticians and authorities, while NRA is a bit more “Brute” political force in the US. But within our cultural context, more subtle but rational and persistent approach works well. Remember, czech government is the only one which took initiative and had balls to litigate new anti gun directive in european court, well 2 more neighbouring countries joined later, but except CZ I dont have feelings any other country within EU would genuinly defend its citizen interests with such initiative “one against all” like ours, even while it will mean serious trouble for not being obedient bitch. We, post-soviets do have experience with gun-bans during nazi and later communist occupation and thank to this recent historical experience our society is somewhat “imunized” and can recognize such highly oppressive, dangerous and fishy symptoms a bit more easily. Our western neighbors dont have that unfortunately and dont realize what is really happening.. But we are not going to cook ourselves like a frog with them. 😉

  2. Britain wants to blunt knives to prevent stabbings, honestly it was suggested by a judge; Why do knives have points he said.

    I bet that left everyone scratching their heads.

  3. Slovakia sold Vz58’s “converted” to blank firers, which were promptly re-converted and used to kill everyone in France by Isis fans.

    The conversion, it has to be said was a bit “shit” E.U common rules eh, if they’d have presented Sa80’s here like that (To the authorities, they’d have just laughed at you.)

  4. @Bloving European groups of gun owners tend often ignore or even actively distance thmeselves from each other. Collectors do not care about hunters, because hunting equals murder, sportsmen do not care about collecting military arms, since they shoot olympic dysciplines, hunters feel like only they should be privileged or defended because of supposed cultural heritage or ecological usefulness, few people who own guns for self defense sometimes think about themselves as a part of connected elite. They all defend only their pieces, and as a result are gradually loosing everything.
    @pdb You do realize that soliloquy feels at home either in Globe or Bedlam.

    • Shakespeare eh… What? “Are you trying to say I am talking tt myself” Well… Who the fuck are you then!! Ha ha. Meh. Fair point.

    • A good argument for a more holistic- and less compromising- approach.

      With the right gun culture, sooner or later there will be ‘Unintended Consequences’ for the enemy.

  5. Bodice = Queen Boudica? No. Fair enough, no need to make an issue of me clearly being poisoned by Larium via H.M Government on national radio is there, being completely “run around” as soon as beer hits my liver and activates whatever the fuck it is, which wasn’t there prior.

    Someone hasn’t heard of mental health awareness week.

    Big baps proudly unfurled at the Romans.

    • Incidentally that’s why I haven’t applied for a firearms license, even though I only want a Kentucky rifle “Flintlock” wibble.

      • It is telling something about the state and society you live in, when in XXI century they require You to have permit for copy of XVIII century single shot muzzleloader. I do not think they fear coup or mass murder performed with flintlock rifle. Rather it is like they want to wipe out the notion that civilian could own any kind of weapon, no matter how primitive or unreliable, without government knowledge and aprobation. So the goal is not crime prevention, but control for the sake of control. Funny, how words “Justice, freedom and security” appear to be on the lips of every European bureaucrat and politician from left to right. Motherlovers should have noses longer than Pinocchio.

        • Your right, I could get a 7.62mm Sniper “A good one, Haenel” for the price of a Flintlock Kentucky rifle; From the U.S” but no, I have to be classed as a sniper… I mean they are good, like… These flintlocks from the U.S, but still.

  6. I lived and worked in Singapore for many years. It’s a nice place, small and modern and safe.

    They have no privately owned guns in homes, though one can (after jumping through expensive administrative hoops) own guns to be kept at their one shooting club. Pistols, shotguns and .22 rifles only. No centrefire rifle ownership or civilian shooting option at all.

    Their borders are tightly controlled, their police are efficient and without many civil liberty laws to restrain them in investigations and enforcement. A gathering of more than three of four people without a permit can be considered illegal. They have the Internal Security Act which allows indefinitely periods of imprisonment without charges of anyone considered a threat to the nation.

    They employ a battalion of Nepalese mercenaries to enforce order on their own citizens if needed.

    So, in discussion there about the US, where they think it’s crazy that people are allowed to own any sort of guns, I mentioned the reason we own arms: to be the guarantors of our own liberty.

    When I asked them what they would do if Indonesia invaded? Wait for the UN / US to save us. Or if their own government decided to cancel elections and institute a “Lee for Life” (the Lee family has been elected into power since independence in 1965) policy? Um…but that would never happen! But what if it did? What would you do? Hmmm…nothing. Those Gurkhas don’t take any shit…

    Europe…I think they are really going to need to consider this matter in a few decades. I have EU friends that are trying to arm themselves to protect their family and it’s sad. Air guns, cricket bats…

    • Well, here in Poland cricket is non existent but historical muzzleloaders, percussion revolvers and breechloaders along with caps and black powder do not require registration or permit. So really anyone can arm him- or herself to the teeths, if only by the standards of 1850s. Getting permit for modern firearm, no matter single shot .22, semiauto pistol or self-loading AKMS is also definitely doable, albeit lenghty (6 months to 1 year on average for sporting purposes), somewhat costly and requires membership in monopolistic Sport (PZSS) or Hunting Association (PZł) or one of newly sprang collecting clubs. So those are good news. The main bad news is that few people bother themselves with shooting sports or collecting. There is no armed culture, despite everyone gloating over former victories, gone military prowess, hussars, uhlans and other silly stuff of the past. During the last 70 years society was literally broken and taught – both by communists and democratic politicians and journalists – to associate weapons only with governments agents or bandits. As a result, natural right to own or bear arms does not exist either in public opinion or in law. Moreover, people do not think about firearms as defensive tools or even cool toys to boast before friends. They would rather buy new smartphone, giant TV or get auto loan, than spend money on weapons, safes and maintaing the licenses, when they perceive them as a source of unnecessary troubles, expenses and danger.
      There is rarely positive feedback on media – journalistic hyenas routinely report incidents with airguns as “shootings”, few bullets, switchblade and gas pistol can be presented as terryfying arsenal of organized crime syndicate. Moral panic is built up before every attempted change in legislation. Retired communist policemen and soldiers, posing as experts, usually talk about how our society is to immature to own firearms, or how having handgun during the robbery would only provoke criminal to pull out machine gun and how they are only persons qualified enough to use them – like the DEA agent from famous negligent discharge video. These are not my jokes, but actual arguments uttered during TV debates by high ranking army and police officers.
      There is also noticeable lack of professional and persistent lobbying from either shooters or private businesess. Former are divided between hunters, sportsmen and collectors and thus largely unable to present common position on the subject, and the latter too dependable on having good relationships with police, which is hostile toward civilian ownership. Sadly, FB Radom which for relies on government contracts, for many years was mostly ignoring domestic civilian owners and did not try to affect legislation which could considerably expand local market for their products.
      Our government, being under influence of their police advisors and ideology of statism is apparently quite pleased with newest EU legislation and, most probably, wants to use it as an excuse for implementing even harsher restrictions, than demanded by Brussels. After Crimea they talked much about building up territorial defense, but are clearly disgusted by thought of civilians taking active part in training or acquiring private firearms for that purpose. Now they have about two months to implement changes required by EU and did not consulted owners or publicly debated any credible draft amendent to the firearm law.
      So called “center” and “right” does not really trust citizens, while the “left” actively opposes any liberalization.
      In short: one politicians outwardly oppose others, but in fact have very similar attitudes toward their constituents. Party politics does not leave much room for reasoning from non-affiliated organizations or experts. And society is mostly indifferent or divided over trivias and red herrings. I guess all this must sound familiar for many people from very different countries.

      • “1850s”
        Good that you mentioned that, according to Antique firearms query in Wikipedia:
        many European countries has special exceptions for old fire-arms, while I do not encourage to fully trust wikipedia, some trends are visible: in some countries it apply only to fire-arms produced before date X, while in other apply to fire-arms designed before date X. For some only year decides, while in other also other conditions must be full-filled (like in Sweden, made before 1890 AND is not gas-seal revolver). Also there is question of legality of firearm and question of legality of ammunition for it.

        • Who’d want to shoot a real gun from 1757 etc, all the time. Even if you could afford to buy it, A: It might be damaged, B: It might explode and damage you. I didn’t say you can’t buy “functional” antiques here, you can- Without a licence, the premise being you aren’t allowed to shoot them even if technically you could.

  7. We employ a bunch of Nepalese mercenaries, who are recruiting women now apparently. Phew, she’d be hard as fuck.

  8. England has shit loads of rabid Islamists we imported in the cold war to fight the Soviets “them being atheists” eeew, etc… So having access to “proper” guns here now, is asking for Bataclans: If Merica has any sense it will keep the fuckers out like Poland, and allow Arizona cling to it’s guns.

    • To say “They” don’t like you; the U.S, is the understatement of the year.

      Mind you if we just ban Gays, again “on paper” We’ll find it much easier to come to some sort of accommodation with them, they have it on paper see “Koran”: And it’s a big no, no. But they have to keep up appearances, like we did until recently. Particularly as they are far more into it “really” than we ever were; the goats are being neglected out yonder.

  9. My legally possesed shotguns are enough guns . So, why to posess,to have,to collect others, if the reason isn’t something else ? Why to go and fill up the shooting range with brass if there isn’t something deeper that i express ? To examine a piece of machinery is different of carrying “customized” and “specials” for your “needs”…Self confidence is gained by your achivements in life. Not by the hardware you carry !I love guns as mechanics,but more than this, i love girls in a place where bullets don’t fly over my head ! Museums can preserve history very well if this is the issue. About terrorism etc,let’s give it a second thought.Kitchen knives, simple chemical products can cause deaths. Carrying a gun doesn’t protect from a telecomanded explosion.The time that mr Colt made people equal, has passed. Nobel and Maxim proved it.

  10. And in the french navy even kitchen knives can’t have points
    This dates from the age of sail where sailors coming on board had the point of their knives broken off so they couldn’t stab each other
    Hows that for knife/gun control

    • French cuisine, the eat frogs and snails.

      They’d be a massive surge in file sales, I might set up a company selling them, then again the times wrong maybe in 200yrs when the existing 20 billion sharp objects rust away, that and “Vampires” Sharpened stakes… They will be seeing a increase “He was a Vampire! My local Witch doctor from Guinnie bassu told me, in Wandsworth. Stake grease? Joint stock company, no?

      • Why can’t these people just punch each other over trivial matters while drunk, as is traditional in Britain. They have no respect for our traditions.

        Deport. Via a particularly large trebuchet errected at Holyhead.

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