Tag Archives: Council

“Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made”

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

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Trilogue ends on the EU Gun Ban

From our partner GUNSWEEK.com by Pierangelo Tendas – 21.12.2016

  • Press release of the European Commission
  • European Parliament and “aggressive gun lobby” watered down the proposal
  • Update 25.01.2017: Trilogue’s outcome now published: LINK 
  • Next steps by EU in February and March
  • Letter of FIREARMS UNITED to Frans Timmermans, First Vice President of COM
  • Next steps by FIREARMS UNITED

A press release of the European Commission announced the end of the trilogue concerning the amendment proposal to the European firearms directive – now infamously known as the “EU Gun Ban”

The final outcome of the dossier will be decided at the European Parliament in February and March

The final outcome of the dossier will be decided at the European Parliament in February and March

With a press release launched yesterday, December 20th, the European Commission announced the conclusion of the trilogue concerning the amendment proposals to the European firearms directive – a dossier now infamously known, and aptly so, as the EU Gun Ban.

First introduced by the European Commission in November 2015, after the bloody terror attacks in Paris, the dossier originally included draconian restrictions aimed at law-abiding, legal gun owners, which included a full ban on high capacity fixed or detachable magazines for all firearms, a total ban on private ownership of modern hunting and sporting guns aesthetically and only partially technically patterned after modern military firearms, and many more.

DE | FR | IT

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UN and EU Firearms Expert Suspected for Distribution of Illegal Firearms

Since last year the proposals of the European Commission tried to bring us new and draconian gun legislation. The EC hoped to get a quick vote in their favor on the back of the terror attacks last year in France. We have been working very hard since that proposal to counter the inaccuracies and general lack of common sense in the proposals.

One of the people who argued for more gun control, was Jean-Luc Stassen, the managing director of the Belgian Proof House in Liege.

Mr Stassen was present in the EP committee debate chaired by MEP Vicky Ford and spoke for 10 minutes, suggesting, amongst other things, that a magazine restriction would be advisable. Mr. Stassen continued to explain at length how certain categories of firearms upon deactivation should require a guaranteed traceability, accompanied by official documents that could not be falsified or forged.

It’s with great interest that we now find out that last Thursday, 27th October, Mr. Stassen was arrested on charges of forgery, the use of falsified documents and embezzlement. Furthermore the Newspapers suggest that over 260 firearms slated for destruction (by the Proof House), were removed from the Belgian Central Firearms Registry and instead of being destroyed, ended up sold on the black market.

The arrest came after the Police executed a search warrant at his home and at the Proof house in Liege. During the searches at least one firearm was confiscated. Mr. Stassen denied the charges at the time of his arrest.

It is widely known, that restrictions on legal firearms sales always contribute towards gray and black market firearms sales. In other words, people who can not acquire firearm legally purchase illegal firearms and the well known concepts of supply and demand ensure that if legal firearms are banned, the illegal market will flourish. Also history has shown that certain parts of firearms that are banned usually end up in the black market.

Time will tell what happens to Mr Stassen, but now we can question his motives – did he recommend bans and restrictions to shift the demand to black market to ensure healthy profit margin for illegal firearms he allegedly was selling?

Needless to say, we will follow this story with great interest…

S.Vandamme

Read more in the news:

Détournement d’armes au banc d’épreuves de Liège: Jean-Luc Stassen était expert pour l’ONU et l’Union Européenne

Besides his position as director of proofhouse weapons of Liege, he is also head of the Belgian delegation to the Permanent International Commission for firearms, officer for criminal investigation for the monitoring of trade weapons in Belgium- and member of several expert groups (in particular, for the UN and the EU). He is a member of the jury for the gunsmiths examinations and Advisory Board Member of arms.

Weapons proofhouse of Liège: arrest warrant issued for director

Le directeur du banc d’épreuves des armes de Liège placé sous mandat d’arrêt

Directeur van Wapenproefbank in Luik gearresteerd

Commission wants #EUGunban says Council

Austrian Parliament published the latest news of the Council – we copied the sections regarding firearms and explosives. The most important sentences in red:

It is important to reach an agreement before the end of the year.

The Commission will continue to urge the colegislators to maintain the level of ambition, particularly the objective to ban the most dangerous semi-automatic firearms.

The document is titled:

First progress report towards an effective and genuine Security Union

II. STRENGTHENING OUR FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISM AND ORGANISED CRIME, AND MEANS TO SUPPORT THEM

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Rapporteur Vicky Ford sums up IMCO’s Compromise Amendments

The IMCO Committee met on 14 June for a presentation of Compromise Amendments by the Rapporteur. Rapporteur Vicky Ford did not mince words when dealing with the most contentious issues such as the exemption for museums and collectors, the retention of semi-automatics in Category B and medical tests.  She was also very critical of the Council’s draft.

A considerable quantity of the 847 amendments presented by IMCO MEPs and by the Rapporteur herself have similar or identical objectives. Hence these were grouped into a short list of compromise amendments offering MEPs choices in order of preference to be voted upon on 14 July.

The discussion included references to the General Approach that has been drawn up by the Council of Ministers as its position for negotiations with Parliament in the coming Trialogue discussions. Parts of the Council’s draft were somehow inserted into the IMCO compromise amendments on the insistence of the S&D Shadow Rapporteur.

We thank the sport shooters who wrote to Vicky Ford complaining that while the Council proposal permits sport shooters to acquire and possess those firearms that the Council seeks to prohibit, the same proposal would not permit them to carry them on their Firearms Pass in order to participate in international events.

Such was the extent of the outgoing Presidency’s rush to close the discussion even if the end result is unworkable. The Rapporteur made reference to this fiasco.

In their follow-up speeches, the Shadow Rapporteurs made it it quite clear where their political groups’ sympathies lie:

  • EPP, ECR, ALDE clearly support a totally watered down version of the Commission proposal
  • S&D and the Greens are for more stringent measures.
  • EFDD and ENF support an outright rejection of the proposal.

See also what the Parliament Magazine wrote about the debate and how the Council negotiated its compromise.

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EU restrictions: the Council approves, the fight moves at the European Parliament

06/10/2016 – After the shameful approval of the restrictive proposals of the Dutch Presidency by the Council of the European Union, it’s up to hunters and sport shooters EU-wide to pressure the European Parliament to reject all proposals!

The courtyard with flags in the Justus Lipsius building in Brussels, home of the Council of the European Union

The Dutch Presidency document as approved by GENVAL and COREPER was adopted yesterday by the Council as its common position − off-camera!

On Friday, June 10th, 2016, the European institutions gave another proof of elitist infamy during the meeting of the Council of the European Union in its JHA configuration − attended by the Ministers of Justice and Home Affairs of the twenty-eight Member States.

The document proposed by the Dutch Presidency and approved by GENVAL and COREPER in the past few days was in fact adopted as the Council’s common position on the EU gun ban proposal, with only the Czech Republic and Poland openly opposing it in full and other Countries such as Slovakia and Malta asking for corrections.

Before the vote, the coming Ministers of Justice and Home Affairs were interviewed on camera and some of them released some very shameful and disturbing declarations, such as when the German Minister of Home Affairs declared herself “Happy that, in the coming future, all weapons will be registered.”

This article is also available in the following languages:  IT  (DE will follow soon)

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Swedish Minister of Interior under Suspicion

We have just been informed that Anders Ygeman, the Swedish Minister of Interior, is subject to parliamentary investigation by the constitutional committee regarding his work with the Firearms Directive.

Leaked documents indicate that the mandate given by the Parliament, that the Firearms Directive shouldn’t be unnecessarily burdensome to legal firearm owners, has not been followed.

According to leaked documents Sweden has proposed bans on some semi-automatic firearms, medical checks and time limited licensing.

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#EUgunban: finally a victory at LIBE

Article by Pierangelo Tendas (All4Shooters.com)

Good news come from the EU as the vote at the LIBE Committee of the European Parliament turns out positively for law-abiding gun owners

Good news from the European Parliament as the planned EU gun ban is discussed at the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs committee (LIBE)

The LIBE Committee of the European Parliament voted on the amendments on May 9th, and the outcome was largely in our favour

In the late evening of May 9th, 2016, the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs committee (LIBE) of the European Parliament held an electronic vote session on the amendments to the committee’s draft opinion concerning the restrictive modification draft to the European firearms directive as proposed by the European Commission. Said vote was initially planned for Tuesday, April 28th, but was postponed under request from the EPP, ECR and ALDE groups.

And indeed those three groups led common sense and sanity to victory in today’s vote, throwing out of the window most, if not all, of the largely anti-gun proposals of the European Commission and of the social-democrat, left and green groups.

This article is also available in the following languages:  IT and DE

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How the European Council works on gun bans

As you might be aware, the European Parliament is not the only EU institution where the fate of legitimate firearm owners is being decided in the wake of the unelected and increasingly autocratic EU Commission’s unjustified attack against our well-regulated community.

The other is the European Council, currently presided by the Netherlands, where the governments of all Member States are represented.

There are three levels within Council that are dealing with the revision of the Firearms Directive:

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