Leaders in the European Union have recently proposed additional restrictions on muzzleloaders and other antique weapons, reportedly over fears of terrorism and organized crime. As ludicrous as it may sound, the 20 member-assembly that holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union—currently from the Netherlands—is concerned that terrorists or criminals may use single-shot firearms to carry out their nefarious deeds. To counter this, the assembly has proposed that reproductions of antique firearms be banned, and that single-shot muzzleloading firearms be moved from Category D to the highly-restricted Category C.
The European Federation of Associations for Hunting and Conservation (FACE), says that up to 12 million hunters and collectors may be affected.
“Who will believe that the removal of the Category D and the prohibition of reproductions of antique firearms will
effectively contribute to the fight against organized crime and terrorism?” FACE stated in a press release. “No report highlighted that reproduction of antique firearms constitute a danger for security and society. Criminals using Kalashnikovs and arms dealers who supply terrorists on the black market will not be affected by these new constraints which exclusively hit honest citizens, legal owners of single-shot reproductions of antique firearms.”
Indeed, advocates say there have been no documented cases of terrorism involving a muzzleloader in Europe. Critics of the proposal say it is comical to think that terrorists or criminals will turn to single-shot firearms, and that the proposal will only harm hunters and collectors.
“For FACE, these unnecessary and draconian measures will provoke the anger of the 12 million law abiding citizens who will be wondering why the EU does not focus on the real public safety issues such as traceability of weapons, their irreversible deactivation and interoperability of databases,” the organization argued.
You can learn more about this proposal from capandball, a YouTuber from Hungary and an avid black powder shooter.