European Commission Airsoft Questions

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EAAGreat news from the European Airsoft Association (EAA), it looks like their contact in Brussels has filed several questions regarding airsoft in the European Commission (EC). This really is historical since airsoft is for the first time handled by the EC, we are really looking forward to their reply.

by Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert (ALDE)
to the Commission
Subject: Airsoft

The recreational activity known as Airsoft has at least a million players in Europe. This game involves the use of an Airsoft device, which has the external features of a firearm, but is entirely unsuited for conversion into a real gun.
The Member States of the EU regulate the use of the Airsoft device in a variety of ways. Differing product requirements are being imposed even though the Member States are all seeking to achieve the same safety and public health objective. The Toy Directive (2009/48/EC1) and the Firearms Directive (91/477/EEC2) may be cited in this connection. The producer of Airsoft devices is clearly faced with a fragmented internal market. In Portugal, for example, the butt and the muzzle tip are required to be coloured a bright orange, while no restrictions are imposed in Belgium, and in the Netherlands the device is banned altogether.

The fact is that Airsoft is gaining in popularity, but its players are faced in practice with the usual set of problems. One really wonders whether there is any justification for this in 2010. Players have stated that they are prepared to comply with strict rules provided these rules are clear and are the same in all 27 EU Member States.

1. Does the Commission agree that it should be possible to practise Airsoft freely and without hindrance in all 27 Member States (and that the game should thus be recognised throughout the EU)? If not, why not? If so, what measures will the Commission take to ensure that this happens?
2. Does the Commission agree that the product requirements for the Airsoft device should be the same for all 27 EU Member States? If not, why not? If so, what measures will the Commission take to ensure that this happens?

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