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
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.
Gun lobby says revision of firearms directive is ‘futile’
Excerpt of Martin Banks article – written on 16th of June 2016 for the Parliament Magazine
The attack from FIREARMS UNITED comes after a parliamentary committee this week was told that 900 amendments have been submitted by MEPs to the Commission’s gun law proposals.
However, ahead of the vote in mid-July, the gun lobby, which is particularly influential in central and eastern Europe, has stepped up its campaign to water down the draft revision.
On Thursday, a spokesperson for FIREARMS UNITED told this website, “The current firearms directive is an effective tool for security and does not unnecessarily obstruct legal activity. EU member states that faithfully transposed the directive into their national laws and applied proper enforcement enjoy positive results. What is necessary is further collaboration between member states to learn from those that successfully applied the directive effectively and to implemented measures that harmonise the procedures for better control.”
The Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) published 847 amendments for the EU Firearms Directive.
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.
On 18th of February IMCO started its discussion for the proposal in its Working Document.
We worked at once on this paper and sent our comments in time on the 9th of March.
Download our Answer to IMCO