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
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.
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
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.
In these days of information technology words travel quickly and hence it is hardly surprising that many Europeans are well aware that the EU-Commission and you personally are putting pressure upon the European Parliament to concede to your demands regarding the Firearms Directive.
The latter can at first glance only be described as a work of haste since it was presented only a few days after the grusome terrorist acts in Paris. However, people like myself that have been involved in safeguarding law abiding citizens rights regarding firearms for some years are very much aware that the EU-Commission only seized the correct moment in order to implement a political agenda that lacks empirical substance.
Impact Assessment is sent by letter post to all MEPs
Because of the “urgency of the situation”, the commission decided to – against all principles of good administration – to skip an essential part of the process called impact assessment.
It is just what it sounds like – a study on how the proposed directive will impact various stakeholders like hunters, reservists, sport shooters, recreational shooters, firearms collectors to name a few. Despite requests of the MEPs and rapporteurs, commission has failed – to this date – deliver a proper impact assessment to justify the directive proposal.
I think we all know why.
One of the reasons of the conference was to provide a voice to all shooting enthusiasts and an opportunity for each stakeholder group to voice their opinion on the directive. One could characterize it as a live version of the impact assessment.
After the conference, everything was put together by Firearms United team of volunteers and now we have two versions:
We are stuck on this text at the European Parliament, which position comes to keep in the hands of civilians dangerous automatic and semi-automatic firearms. We need your help in order to convince your colleagues at the EP [to get them banned].
Pressure by Commission/Council and Updates on Trilogue
On November 24th, the Firearms United network received classified and very reliable intelligence according to which the European Commission would be exerting an unprecedented amount of pressure on the European Parliament to reach an end to the trilogue before the end of the year; and such an agreement would be on the Council’s position.
Given how many of the biggest member States agree on many points – with the governments of Germany, France and Italy being among the main sponsors of what is now in-famously known as the “EU gun ban” – the European Parliament may indeed be forced to capitulate.
King wants an agreement that would restrict the circulation of fully automatic and converted semi-automatic weapons in such a way that safeguards their legitimate use. FIREARMS UNITED agrees with this aim – the safeguard of legitimate use, that is.
King believes that the European Commission, Council and Parliament can come out with effective control measures against criminal misuse of firearms. We don’t think that any possible compromise between their current positions could have any effect on illegally held firearms. It would, instead, have a huge negative impact on legally held firearms, their owners and the civilian firearms industry that supports more than 580,000 jobs in small and medium enterprises.
Left from the main entrance in the Visitors Center (separate entrance) between 12.30 and 12.45 APS Altiero Spinelli Building, European Parliament, Rue Wiertz 60, 1047 Brussels.
There, guests receive their stickers. Then the group has to go to the main entrance, where security will check identity card, then through the security control. The group is accompanied by MEP’s employees and led to the conference hall.