RSWC #066 Tomasz Stepien
Riding Shotgun With Charlie
Tomasz Stepien answered the call when I was looking for passengers at Gun Rights Policy Conference in Phoenix. I was excited to have my first international passenger in the stagecoach. This was quite an education for me and I hope it is for you as well.
Tomasz learned gun safety in school! Can you believe that?!?! He started shooting .22 LR when he was young, but took some time off for his career. A few years ago, he made some changes with his career and got back into shooting. In Poland, where he’s from, if you’re going to have a firearm license, you have to use the firearm. So, if you’re getting a gun to hunt, you need to hunt. If you’re going to have it for sport shooting, you have to sport shoot.
Firearms United, the fastest growing coalition in Europe, has been around and got more involved with fighting back after the Charlie Hebdo and The Baclavan terror attacks. Just like in the United States, after these attacks, the governments make some knee jerk reactions and started regulating the Rights of the citizens.
Firearms United has 27 countries to fight for and they’re trying to build an ‘umbrella’ for the entire EU. The laws from country to country vary. The increase of sporting licenses in Poland has gone up 40%! There are some requirements, like joining a range for 3 months, then you have a practical shooting exam, and knowledge of the current firearms laws. Then you have to go thru a doctor’s evaluation and a psychological evaluation, then you’ll have the papers you need to get a license.
The GRPC in Phoenix was Tomasz’s second time at the conference. He went a few years ago he was at NRAAM and was approached by Alan Gottlieb, who asked him to come speak about what is going on the Europe with gun rights. Tomasz believes that we need to exchange notes with them about what is going on in both continents so we can combat the gun grabbers.
We also talk about his root to Akron, Ohio, of all places in the United States. A few generations ago, his great grandparents left Poland to escape and they went to Ohio. Then after WWI, they went back after Poland gained independence. I shared a story of going to Poland in 1995 and only learning how to say “Ice cream, please”. “Beer, please” and “Vodka, please”.
We talk about their current fight with what’s going on in Brussels. There, they are trying to ban lead ammunition and say that only ammunition should be made from bismuth. And bismuth is much more expensive than lead. In Denmark, bismuth was OK but then it was decided that getting bismuth was too expensive and difficult to that was banned, too. And in France there was a proposal for a 700% taxation on firearms. Does any of this sound familiar?!?! Of course it does! The gun grabber and anti-gun folks do the same in America. What I really learned is that the anti-gunners are the same throughout the world.
“The system is screwed from the perspective that you have to actually show the government the reason why you want to have a gun, which is abhorrent to me. Why should I?”
“When I hear the stories that you have similar stuff with the Second Amendment, that’s something that is mind boggling for me.”
“I deeply believe that there are certain similarities in the behaviors of the gun grabber in the US and in Europe and we need to exchange notes.”
“Our biggest fight is trying to survive the new angle of attack coming from Brussels”
“The facts do not support that the lead ammunition is not as damaging as they claim”
Firearms United Website
Firearms United Facebook
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