EU lawmakers are meeting on Tuesday (15 November) for another round of backroom talks to curb gun violence and prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons on the black market.
Debates around the European Commission’s EU firearms directive reform, proposed in the aftermath the Paris November terrorist attacks, appears to be advancing as positions converge between the two co-legislatures at the European Parliament and the Council, representing member states.
The latest reform tabled by the EU commission’s internal affairs branch, DG Home, intends to, among other things, restrict the online purchase of weapons, ban certain semi-automatic firearms as well as so-called deactivated guns that can no longer fire bullets.
Michael Benstein, a weapons expert in German Federal Police Office said: Manufacturers design semi-automatic weapons to look less like their military grade counterparts.
Benstein also noted that some hunting rifles use the same technology as the Kalashnikovs that killed dozens of people in Paris this time last year.*
“We would end up banning a whole category of weapons without any real effect,” he said.
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Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska ( European Commission ) claimed 100.000 deaths in ten years by legally-held firearms and said law abiding citizens should not own semi-automatic firearms at all.
Snippets of Commissioner’s speech:
- I think that first we have to limit the access to automatic and semi-automatic firearms.
- Such assault weapons are not necessary for sport shooting.
- Hunters in some member states are not concerned at all by our proposal.
- We have evidence from the last year that during the last decade 100.000 people in Europe were killed by such weapons. Homicide … they were… murdered by using weapons which were at home.
- Our proposal does not endager sport shooters, really not.
- Kalashnikovs are military arms. Even when they are semi-automatic or non-automatic at all I am convinced such firearms should not be authorized for sports.
- To many people were killed, so be more open-minded on this topic.
Conservative MEP Christofer Fjellner from Sweden found the right words.
Snippets of his speech:
- Instead of getting to the real problem with illegal guns all of the proposal hits the legal guns and has no impact on terrorists or criminals at all.
- 5-years-licenses, medical exams, hindering distance trade and banning certain semi-automatics won’t stop terrorists but hit hard the law abiding gunowners
- How many crimes could be linked to legally-held firearms? How big is the problem?
- How many firearms were affected by the ban? How many will be banned?
- If Commission cannot answer these both simple question, we should reject proposal.
- You missed the target (illicit trafficking) by miles!
Read more of Commissioner’s speech: FACE: Commissioner Bieńkowska’s 100.000 deaths unfounded
The next MEP – after Christofer Fjellner (SE) – rejects the proposal: Jussi Halla-aho (FI)
Snippets of his speech:
- The large number of ammendments is encouraging as many of them address the most excessive and disproportional details in the proposal. The rapporteur has also generally done a good job.
- We should reject not only the proposed and unjustified ban on semi-automatic sporting rifles that are subcategorized A6 and A7, but also the proposed recategorisation of legal firearms as a whole.
This rejection has already been done by LIBE.
- We also should reject the nearly total ban of category A firearms which would lead to destruction of valuable historical collections. These weapons are not used in crime and are already strictly controlled.
This ban was also rejected by LIBE.
- We should reject mandatory time limits for licenses and medical checks because they only lead to more bureaucrazy and inconveniece without impact on crime.
These were rejected by LIBE.
- I support to reject the whole proposal as it violates all principles of good regulation.
- The Commission tried to took advantage of the tragic event in Paris last November to push through a largely ideological anti-firearm proposal.
This has greatly damaged the image and credibility of the EU.
- The attitude of the Commission in the Committee hearings has been incredible.
It is now up to the Parliament to try and undo that damage.
Commissioner Bieńkowska’s Scandalous Speech
Mrs Elżbieta Bieńkowska ( European Commission ) claimed 100.000 deaths in ten years by legally-held firearms.
FACE’s Press Release
“FACE President Michl Ebner commented: “Commissioner Bieńkowska’s unfounded statement that 100,000 citizens were “murdered” by legal firearms does not contribute to the democratic debate on the revision of the Firearms Directive. The European Commission is adopting an incomprehensibly rigid attitude towards a serious piece of legislation, which is now risking to disproportionately affect legal firearm owners with no predictable outcome on terrorism and criminality”.
Snippets of MEP Richard Sulik’s speech
- The European Commission is trying to restrict people’s personal freedoms.
- No terrorist is going to get a weapon at a normal dealer.
- I thank the rapporteur for her hard work to remove the nonsense from the proposal.
- Ms Bieńkowska suprised me yesterday, when she said, that we don’t need so many weapons. Surely citizen’s freedom should be more important than the Commission’s opinion.
- The ladies and gentlemen sitting in the Commission seem to be acting like gods.
- I would be happiest if the whole directive were to be withdrawn.
Read more of her speech: FACE: Commissioner Bieńkowska’s 100.000 deaths unfounded
The Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) published 847 amendments for the EU Firearms Directive.
Download PDF : 847_Amendments by IMCO (Update on 15-05-2016)
We thought, 250 amendments at the LIBE committee were much, but now we see up to 800!
Funny phenomenon: Every time we see something and think “Hey, that is total bullshit”, it came from Durand (French Green). Every time we see something that makes a bit of sense the names above are Ford (rapporteur ) and Corazza Bildt (Sweden).
It will take some days until you can read them in your national language.
These amendments will be voted for and their final outcome will be presented to the European Parliament. Here a short history what happened in the past at IMCO: Link
Let’s hope that Durand’s opinion will be in the end of June crashed as Gomes’ at the LIBE Committee in May.
We want to inform people and mainstream that legal gun ownership is not a threat, but a benefit for our security.
We want that worldwide polls will have the same outcome as in the US.
In the US the public opinion on legal gun ownership shifted within 15 years. We need to shift worldwide opinion in less than 5 years.
So please spread our informations. The LIBE vote yesterday was an important step in the right direction. But at the moment we only reject stricter rules.
If we win the actual combat in the EU, we must take the next step: accept the “Right to Carry” as a tool against crime and terrorism.
Read more of ABC-News about the poll from December 2015
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