Back to the core business – Summary from Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection

Vote on opening the Interinstitutional Negotiations on the Control of Accquisition and Possession of Weapons at IMCO meeting on 5th of September 2016

Original videolink can be found from here: Link

Transcript

[Timestamps: 1:35:10 – 1:39:45]

[Skipping the administrative matters and going straight to the interesting part.]
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MEP Vicky Ford, Chairman (Conservatives and Reformists):
Before we vote, I’m going to give the floor to Dita Charanzová who’s asked for the floor.

MEP Dita Charanzová (Liberals and Democrats) :
Thank you Madame Chair. Before we proceed to the vote, I just would like to reiterate my concerns I already raised regarding the forthcoming Interinstitutional Negotiations. Czech gun holders and many others keep sending to me worried messages about the impact of this proposal – and I think we should not neglect them. To address their concerns, we need to make sure that our discussions are truly fact-based, and well informed. So, that’s why I would like to urge the Commission to provide us as much relevant information from ALL Member States as soon as possible, but definitely before any talks on categorization of firearms start.

Our aim, I think, has to be to reach an outcome of the negotiations which will not punish ordinary citizens. Thank you.

MEP Vicky Ford, Chairman:
I know that Monsieur, err, from the Commission is here and has taken a note of those comments, so they have been put on the record. Evelyne Gebhardt, would you like the floor?

MEP Evelyne Gebhardt (Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats):
(in German): Yes, thank you very much. On behalf of Sergio Cofferati, would it be possible for me to put a question to the Commission? To add a question. Because I think it is important that it be replied to even in writing. He has written the question in English:

(in English): Which categories of users are using these categories of firearms and for which reasons they are authorized? Since we have foreseen a series of exceptions, this element could be important in order to better understand which users would be actually touched by the new measures we have proposed.

(in German): So I think it would be particularly useful because there are certain people who are putting us under a lot of pressure, lobbyists, and we know that there is a lot of erroneous information being circulated on the internet – and it would be very good to get the right answer. Thank you.

MEP Vicky Ford, Chairman:
May I remind the Commission and the public and the Members that, prior to the vote in IMCO, I wrote to the Commission, on behalf of the Shadow Rapporteurs, requesting specific information on these matters as well as, where practical, figures. We’ve received neither.

So, we need specific information on concrete types of firearms that would be covered in these figures. Nor … the figures. We do know that you are contacting the Member States. We are expecting that information to come back. I will follow up, and it’s not just figures that we want. It is specific information as well. We’ve made it very clear – at least Ms. Charanzová has made it very clear – that this is absolutely vital before we can discuss in any trilogue, these matters. … And I see a lot of nods across the room.

So, with those on the record, that information, and the knowledge from the Commission that we do still require detailed information, let us open this vote.

For: 24
Against: 3
Abstained: 5

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Firearms United Commentary:

What can we learn from the transcript above?
Few people know, that Vicky Ford has sent a letter to the Commission asking if they have any numbers to back up their claim to ban semiautomatic firearms and normal capacity magazines. The letter in question contains four questions:

  1. List technical facts and figures on how many of the following firearms have been registered in EU area:
    * Automatic firearms which have been converted to semi-automatic
    * Semi-automatic firearms with following characteristics: Can be shortened to less than 60 cm due to collapsible or telescoping stock, can fire more than 20 rounds if bigger than 20 round magazine has been attached to it, how many magazines are out there with +20 round capacity
  2. Technical information and where available figures on high capacity magazines over 20 rounds available in EU for civilian purposes.
  3. Technical information and where available figures on cases where registered (=legal) firearms were used in terroristic attacks in EU during recent years.
  4. Technical information and where available figures concerning types of semi-automatic weapons mostly used for illegal or criminal purposes

All good questions – questions to which the Commission has been unable to answer. The first answer from Commission was not exactly based on facts, and it seems that the letter has been re-submitted, with relevant parts highlighted to ensure that it is understood. Apparently right now, there is no love lost between the Parliament and the Commission, which means that the Parliament still seems to be on the fence with this firearms directive due to enormous amount of feedback they have received.

It seems that the Commission needs to provide these answers before the Trialogue can continue – and we all know the answers to these questions.

For the moment, the facts are on our side.

Firearms United would like to sincerely thank all of you shooting enthusiasts, firearms collectors, hunters and sport shooters from all the work that you have done so far – remember the fight is not over yet.

Please write to your member of parliament, and express you concern regarding re-categorization of firearms (= ban of firearms with telescoping/folding stocks) and magazine restrictions (20 rounds), etc).

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