Interview The Pozzolo case and the link between the right and the gun lobby The Fratelli d’Italia MP is at the center of the storm over the bullet fired from his gun during a New Year’s Eve party, but the incident is only the tip of the story. The Union is the iceberg of a consolidated relationship between the Italian Brothers and associations that have been pushing for years to change the law on self-defense. Giorgio Beretta (Opal) speaks on

The incident involving Italy Brothers parliamentarian Emanuele Pozzolo puts the spotlight on the relationship between politics and the gun lobby, on the part of the Italian right that has been trying to change the law on self-defense for years.

Giorgio Beretta, author of the book ‘The Land of Guns’. False myths, gray areas and armed Italian lobbies have been interested in international and national trade in military systems and “light weapons” for years, as well as in the relations between finance and armaments. He currently carries out research activity for the Permanent Observatory on small arms and security and defense policies (Opal) in Brescia and is part of the Italian Network for Peace and Disarmament.

Beretta explains to “There are two versions – one is the version of the parliamentarian who claims that he did not shoot, the other is the version of a witness who claims the opposite: in both cases it is a very serious fact. Let’s talk exactly about the parliamentarian, i.e. a person who is supposed to represent the citizens, beyond the party that elected him… A person who, among other things, attends a village festival with a gun, where children are present, and displays his gun to show off a little. He is a braggart, he is to be blamed. If he puts the gun in the hands of someone who does not have a gun licence, this It would be worse because it can’t be done.”

Enrico Maccapanni, former Vercelli security delegate of Fratelli d’Italia, writes: “I sold the gun to Pozzolo: he was scared after the attack on the founder of Vox. All parliamentarians must go around armed.” Does this sound normal to you?

“Absolutely not. If Pozzolo is licensed to keep and carry weapons for personal defense, that would mean that the governor thinks the threats he has received are well-founded. Perhaps it would be appropriate for the party involved to make them public. He has an unspecified response to the threats he has received because of his positions pro-resistance in Iran.” It is referred to as such, because a threatening comment on a social network is not enough. If there is a real threat instead, of course everything changes. The armed movement of political activity inside and outside parties is crazy. Consider Riccardo Noury, spokesman for Amnesty International Italy, “He fights against regimes around the world every day to defend human rights, what should he do, let him walk around with a machine and a gun?” .

The Italian right makes no secret of its desire for greater proliferation

“Not quite like that. Of course, the most Trumpist and sovereigntist people who dream of the proliferation of weapons in the USA want this. Salvini, whose photo was taken with a rifle in his hand at the Vicenza fair, is the representative of the Brotherhood. Those who want to change the law of self-defense and say that defense is always legitimate and that citizens have to defend themselves.” Italy, which claims that it must have a gun, just like in American movies, it is the one who shoots as soon as someone crosses the border. Ecr, the group that includes Fratelli d’Italia in the European Parliament, receives funding from American gun lobbies, and Giorgia Meloni himself, 2019′ He also attended a conference organized by the National Rifle Association of America. The current Undersecretary of State in the Presidency of the Council, the most powerful association representing gun owners, Giovanbattista Fazzolari, was a supporter of the law in the last legislative session that lifted the ban on the sale of 9-gauge pistols in Italy in December 2021 × 19 mm parabellum”.

Christmas tree with cartridge

A congratulatory poster by European parliamentarian Pietro Fiocchi of Fratelli d’Italia caused a sensation. The representative of Giorgia Meloni’s party sits next to the sign “I wish everyone a Christmas with all the decorations”, a hunting dog and a Christmas tree decorated with firecrackers. The Fiocchi family is among Italy’s leading ammunition manufacturers.

“There is also a traditional right that believes in the State, not the do-it-yourself mentality, which claims that weapons should only be used by security forces. I quote Pietrangelo Buttafuoco’s book, ‘Arm yourself and die’, stating that the do-it-yourself defense is a scam and, above all, He claims he is not a right-winger”.

How are gun lobbies organized in Italy?

“It’s a very diverse world: there are hunters who are divided into different associations, pushing for not to impose too restrictive rules on hunting; in reality they are not interested in anything related to personal defense. There are sportsmen who go to the shooting range, there are collectors who develop their hobbies, and then there is the minority but most influential part, they consist of three independent but today tightly united groups: arms manufacturers and dealers gathered in their own trade associations Anpam, ConArmi and AssoArmieri, magazines and specialized sites in the arms industry, and groups and associations defending the self-declared ‘rights’ of gun owners. The most active it was previously called ‘Directive Committee 477’ and was born in opposition to directive 477. A European directive of the same name is now called Unarmi and is attended by Matteo Salvini, who organizes the annual Hit Show and undertakes to ‘support any activity that can be done’ It affects the right of the signatory to legally possess and use weapons.

As I said, it is a powerful lobby, but not very large: it has a few hundred members, compared to the nearly two million gun owners in Italy. It is an association largely run by lawyers and modeled on the US NRA. “They’re the ones who expose themselves because arms manufacturers are generally much more cautious.”

Are associations in practice “Trojan horses” used by manufacturers to promote arms sales?

“Frankly, we cannot say that there is an economic connection. We know that a few years ago the manufacturers’ associations declared their support for the then ‘Directive 477 Committee’ in an official statement. Their reference model is the American model, but a self-defense law was approved in the Czech Republic, very similar to what they wanted in Italy: but there is much more control there, and in fact there are fewer guns in circulation than in Italy.On their sites, several topics appeared commercial, such as that of Brownells Italia, the Italian branch of the world’s largest retailer of parts and accessories for shooting guns: not-for-profit at the time, opinion They announced that they had a partnership.

Press release from producer associations in support of the 477 Steering Committee

Will the Pozzuolo case cool the relationship between politics and these worlds a little?

“I’ve been thinking for a while now, I think they’ll wait for things to calm down before getting back into it with absurd proposals like buying guns for sixteen-year-olds or giving guns to all merchants. But their aim remains to change the law to make Defense, and with it the possession of guns, always legitimate: perhaps that adds to their narrative.” “They will wait for the next functional news.”

Source: Today IT