FESAC Annual Conference 2006 – Austria

The Foundation for European Societies of Arms Collectors held its fourteenth annual meeting in Vienna between the 19th and 21st May 2006 with Malta as its newest member.

On Friday the delegates from the EU member states’ collector organisations met to hear each country’s gun legislation status report and then elect the Board members. Reports from most countries were quite dismal with the respective governments tackling crime by hitting back at legal gun ownership. There were some exceptions. The Netherlands are working on new legislation that has similarities to the new Arms Act in Malta and which came forth as an example of a good balance between legal gun ownership and security considerations.

At the end of the meeting Mr. R.H.G. ‘Kick’ Koster (Netherlands) was reconfirmed as Chairman, Ms. Hanny Papendorp-Spruijt (Netherlands) as Vice-Chairman and Mr. Roger Cook (UK) as Secretary. Mr. Pit Kaiser was voted in as the new Treasurer. Mr. Stephen Petroni was elected to the Board and to a newly-set up subcommittee together with consultant Ing. Jas van Driel and fellow Board member Roger Cook. The subcommittee’s task is to establish contact with EU officials in Brussels and to lobby for positive changes and harmonization in EU states’ gun legislation.

On Saturday the delegates were invited to visit two important museums. First they were taken to the Military Museum (Heeresgeschichtliches Museum im Arsenal) where they were welcomed by the Acting Director, Dr. Christian Ortner. They had the opportunity to handle some very rare early self-loading pistols which originated in Austria. The visit concluded with a re-enactment by the Mounted Artillery Division N°2 in historic uniforms from the 1st World-War.

The second museum visited was to the Hof-, Jagd- und Rüstkammer at the Heldenplatz. The director Mr. Matthias Pfaffbichler took the delegates through an in-depth tour of the superb arms and armour collection. The highlight of the visit was the opportunity to handle and examine two handguns from the personal property of the Emperor Franz-Josef. The day came to an end with the Dinner.

On Sunday morning some delegates opted to visit an Austrian Army rifle shooting range and shoot several types of rifles employed by the Austrian Army.

Check out the photos of the annual meeting in our photo gallery section.

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