13 June 2016
Members of the European Parliament’s Internal Market committee are expected to debate amendments to the EU’s Firearms Directive this Tuesday.
Members of the European Parliament’s Internal Market committee are expected to debate amendments to the EU’s Firearms Directive this Tuesday. There has been a common European firearms law for over 25 years but far-reaching reforms were proposed by the Commission following the Charlie Hebdo and Paris attacks last year.
The first draft of the proposals was widely considered to be very poorly drafted and would have had many unintended consequences. Members of the European Parliament have tabled a further 800 amendments to the Commission’s proposal, which will be discussed on Tuesday.
British Conservative MEP Vicky Ford (ECR) is overseeing the negotiations across all of the Europe and will lead Tuesday’s debate. She will put forward a series of proposals.
Mrs Ford will say:
‘It is absolutely right that we close the specific loophole that was exploited by terrorists involved in the Charlie Hebdo attacks. These firearms that were supposedly only able to fire blanks, and hence could be bought and sold by individuals who did not have any firearms certificate, license or permit. These guns had not been irreversibly converted and were easily turned back into live firearms. Many similar firearms were found in a marina in Kent and it is absolutely vital that we work with our neighbours across Europe to close this loophole to make us all secure.”
Mrs Ford’s proposals will also introduce robust measures to make sure that permits or licenses are not given to individuals who are likely to pose a risk to public safety. Countries will be expected to have in place a monitoring system and new measures will be introduced to ensure that if a person is refused a permit in one country, then the police in another country will be made aware. MEPs will vote on whether or not medical checks should be required.
Mrs Ford will propose additional votes on whether specific types of firearms such as those which are easier to conceal or those with larger firing capacity should be banned at a European level. She will also introduce very specific technical criteria for deactivated firearms in order to make sure that military re-enactors, museums and film makers do not find themselves in a legal limbo due to contradictory language in the technical standards.
She is intending to have another month of negotiations with colleagues before voting on the proposals next month.
Mrs Ford will say:
“You should not be able to buy any firearm in Europe without a permit or license. You should not be able to get a permit or license if you are considered by authorities to be likely to pose a risk to public order. If in any doubt, the authorities should say “no”.
“This is a sensitive issue, and we must get it right. We need to have effective crossborder laws but this also needs to be done in a way that it does not have unintended consequences for legitimate owners, sportsmen, national defence or museums.”
Watch the debate Tuesday at 09.50 CET via this link:
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