The EU-decision making process is a complex one. Firearms United has been following the EU legislation process up close and personal since the day ill-conceived proposal from the commission saw the light of day, and based on what we have seen, Otto von Bismarck was right when he (allegedly) said: “Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made.“
The “Trilogue” is still ongoing and we are now in the phase called: “First Reading”
That is where in a nutshell The European Parliament examines the Commission’s proposal and may:
adopt it or
introduce amendments to it
After that the Council may:
decide to accept the Parliament’s position: in such a case the legislative act is adopted
amend the Parliament’s position: the proposal is returned to the Parliament for a second reading
What ACTUALLY really happened so far was that in council France, Germany, Italy and Spain did some shady dealing in backstage and sent a veiled threat in the letter and thus heavily dictated the Council position to which some improvements were pushed in by some countries (FI, CZ, etc).
During that time, the parliament examined the proposal, noticed that it was “unworkable” (We have to agree with the rapporteurs on this one!). Some 900 or so amendmends were made, some voted in – some left out – but in the end we had parliament position. In the trilogue meetings during autumn, a compromise – which we described and published earlier – was reached.
This brings us to present day – The key parts of the proposal are still unfinished (the ones that got this mess started in the first place – deactivation rules) and the parliament is due to vote on the proposal in March – over month before the new deactivation rule proposal is even returning from comments round.
Now two things may happen – either proposal is approved or amended, which brings us to
On 15 February FIREARMS UNITED held a fruitful meeting with Rapporteur Vicky Ford in Strasbourg. This meeting was followed up with a letter that the Rapporteur sent us and which we reproduce below.
FIREARMS UNITED appreciates the sterling work done by the Rapporteur in securing the best possible terms within her remit in spite of the intense pressure exerted by the Council and the Commission during the Trilogues.
Nevertheless, FIREARMS UNITED and its team of technical experts have grievous concerns about the text that will be tabled in Plenary, which still presents a potential minefield for the criminalistion of innocent and law-abiding citizens and for diverting valuable Member State resources in dealing with unduly complex and unenforceable legislation.
FIREARMS UNITED is therefore committed to working with the RAPPORTEUR and sensible MEPs from any political group to introduce technical improvements that guarantee an efficient but safe implementation of the Directive.
It is thanks to the continued moral and financial support of legal firearm owners that FIREARMS UNITED is permitted to carry on with its negotiations and, if necessary in the near future, to seek legal redress at European and Member State levels.
The goal is to disarm Europe and make it defenseless – at least that is what the European Commission tries to do for the last 18 months. Fortunately, this action is being pushed back by the law abiding firearms owners. Why the Eurocrats try do so? Isn’t it that making a terrorists’ life easier should be considered a treason? For whom the European Commission works? Does the MEPs DO UNDERSTAND WHAT ARE THEY VOTE UPON AND DO THEY CREATE LAWS CONSCIOUSLY? See for yourself in this shocking material on incompetence of modern Europe.
The Firearms United network – one of the main voices of oppositions to the EU Gun Ban representing gun owners from all around Europe – interviewed Czech MEP Dita Charanzová, shadow rapporteur for ALDE and herself one of the staunchest opponents to the European Commission’s restrictive proposals
Read the whole article with the interview at Gunsweek ( EN | IT )
Read the whole interview in DE | FI | CZ | FR
FIREARMS UNITED (FU): Mrs. Charanzová, how did you live the entire process as a Shadow Rapporteur?
MEP Dita Charanzová (DC): I must say that in my whole presence and work in Brussels – first as an official for Permanent Representation of the Czech Republic, and later as MEP – I never met a proposal that would be this much politicised, especially as the end of negotiations closed in; and I found that very disappointing.
The Commission exerted enormous amounts of pressure to adopt a text that would contain as severe restrictions as possible, and to adopt it as soon as possible, without being able to give any real reason for these restrictions.
We really do our best to provide you with verifiable and correct information, unfortunately due to a manipulation error we posted something we shouldn’t have. Let us explain what happened. A few weeks ago there was a news article in a Polish newspaper which stated that the website of Firearms United was blocked on the network of the European parliament. So a draft article/translation was made so we could within Firearms United check the claims properly before publishing it. Unfortunately at some point the wrong button was pressed and this got published without us realizing this immediately.
Just to be clear our website is NOT blocked in the European parliament or the European Commission, and thus MEP’s do have full access to the information provided by us.
Rest assured that we do everything possible to provide you with correct information, and therefore we are deeply sorry a mistake happened. We would thus like to apologize for any misunderstandings.
Again – as in summer 2016 – the Member of IMCO have only an English text to vote on. Again – as in summer 2016 – the paper has been published only some days (20/01/17) before the vote. And we assume – as in summer2016 – the majority will agree to the compromise.
FIREARMS UNITED worked on the compromise the last weeks, visited MEPs in Brussels and our staff is in contacts with several MEPs by email and telephone.
We concentrate our work on these six points:
Collectors, museum & firearms of interest
Loading devices & re-categorization of semi-automatic rifles
Long firearms with folding or removable stocks
Automatic firearms converted to semi-automatic
The Sport Shooters’ exemption & Firearms Pass
Retaining category “D” for 3 groups of firearms
Of course there is no evidence at all to amend the directive. Of course the only rational decision should be rejection of the proposal as well as of the compromise. But as Vicky Ford and Jussi Halla-Aho stated on our conference in November: there is no majority for rejection, most politicians are not interested in this subject and want “to do something against terrorism”. As most politicians do not own guns and don’t know gun owners it is easy for them to ban things they do not “need”.
FIREARMS UNITED will do its very best to change the point of view of the uninterested politicians with facts. “To do something” against legal gun owners is not the best solution in the combat against illicit trafficking of firearms and against terrorism and crime.
You may support our fight by calling the local offices of your MEPs by phone. You can use our impact assessment for arguments. We sent the short version by letter to all MEPs in November.
Stereotypes – they are nice and they save time – its easy to label people, especially in media these days.
Gone are the days when news agencies reported only facts – if they ever did. And in media these days you are pretty much always labeled guilty – whether your are guilty or not. And if you are not – nobody bothers to “correct” the news afterwards.
We have a nice example of “investigative journalism” for you today:
In Spain the local police (in cooperation with EUROPOL – just about week before IMCO vote) seized huge number of what they call “illegal firearms”.
Estas son las 12.000 armas, algunas capaces de derribar aeronaves, intervenidas al crimen organizado. Su precio: 10 mill € en mercado negro pic.twitter.com/iJwcC3PGz9
Since there’s much misunderstanding, especially in foreign media, about meaning and purpose of recently proposed change of our Constitutional law to introduce citizens’ right to acquire, possess and carry firearms, I feel appropriate to correct these misinterpretations.
LEX answers the following questions:
Is it a “terrorist hunting permit”?
Is it a proposal for unlimited possession and carrying of firearms?
Are Czechs going to substitute their armed forces with armed citizens?
The Conference organized by FESAC, AACTS, AMACS and Firearms United in Malta has attracted media attention – in addition to hall full of firearms enthusiasts and foreign guests from many organizations in Europe!
Nothing in the directive is yet settled, and even the trilogue is still formally ongoing before the parliament approves the current “compromise”. Malta is in key position, because they are taking over EU presidency for the next six months and one of the more challenging areas is the new firearms directive proposal, so the conference was an excellent event, where the message from the shooters was sent to the authorities – loud and clear.
The Maltese organizations spared no effort or expense setting up the conference on saturday, and as you can see from the pictures, they had even organized an exhibit where they showed priceless historical artifacts that were originally sentenced to be destroyed by the commission.
The conference will discuss how the Commission’s misguided proposal, which was presented in a most irregular manner, would lead to a serious impact on legal firearm owners and users, as well as on national authorities’ resources, while hardly having any effect against the use of illegal weapons by criminals and terrorists. Participants will be informed of the latest developments following the trilogue meetings between the Commission, the Council and Parliament.