AACTS, the Association of Arms Collectors and Target Shooters, was founded on the 4th April 2002 . The situation of gun collecting and target shooting in Malta was at the time undergoing major changes with the drafting of new regulations in the pipeline and new opportunities abroad.
The founding members had therefore decided that there was the need to set up a new association that would, along with the established organisations, work for the interests of the target shooters and collectors in the Maltese Islands.
AACTS was established to promote all forms of target shooting and arms collecting including militaria, not only among its members but also among the general public, by providing a focal point on all aspects of these activities.
AACTS also organises facilities for training purposes, competitions, seminars, educational programs and courses in all aspects of target shooting whether for leisure or competition as also arms collecting, exhibitions and furnish any logistic support that may be required. The Association’s aims include the promotion of awareness on issues relating to arms ownership amongst its members and the general public.
AACTS has also worked to raise the profile of its members, particularly as key contributors to the promotion of the sporting aspect of target shooting as well as the historic, cultural and educational aspect of arms collecting and to draw commensurate respect and public esteem towards these objectives. Its members are encouraged to promote, maintain and enhance responsible ethic standards. AACTS promotes the involvement of its members in national/international policy making and decision-making processes that may in any way affect its members.
The Association has since its inception, worked to obtain suitable land and buildings and any equipment or facilities necessary in the pursuance of its Membership’s interests. It has greatly improved the facilities made available to it at the AFM SAFI Shooting ranges, by setting up new equipment for innovative shooting disciplines. AACTS regularly collects and circulates information of interest to the membership, by issuing regular newsletters. Recently, it has been employing the latest technologies to improve the storage and dissemination of information by using its web site.
AACTS enrols as members all applicants, regardless of race, colour or creed, of good moral standing and conduct, who seek membership and who have an interest in any one or all of its activities. The members of AACTS currently specialise in Muzzle Loading Black Powder Revolver and Musket Shooting, collections of arms and militaria.
Members of AACTS have participated in the MLAIC World Championship in 2004 and the MLAIC European Zone Championships in 2005. The members are now preparing to participate in the MLAIC World Championships in August 2006 in Bordeaux .
AACTS seeks affiliation with other constituted bodies both locally and overseas for the purpose of furthering its objectives. Locally, AACTS is a member of the Malta Shooting Federation (MSF). Through this affiliation, AACTS is officially recognised as a Target Shooting Club for the purposes of participation in competitions abroad, especially the Muzzle Loaders Association International Committee (MLAIC) AACTS is also an affiliated club with the Muzzle Loaders Association of Great Britain (MLAGB) and members participate regularly in postal competitions organised by MLAGB. They have obtained very good results and are often bringing over Silver and Bronze medals in the first category.