Tag Archives: trilogue

“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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Guilty – until proven innocent?

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”.

Press release [1] was later issued by the Spanish authorities:

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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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Impact Assessment – Delivered!

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:

The short version of our impact assessment: http://bit.ly/2fIAFru

The full version of our impact assessment: http://bit.ly/2fzOESO

Our letter to the MEPs

Thanks to efforts of the volunteers, there was also a hard copy of the shorter version printed out and mailed to each of the MEPs with this letter: Continue reading

New attempt from the EU commission to ban specifically AK47 and AR15 families of Firearms

The cat is out of the bag now…

New attempt (16.11.2016!) by the EU commission to ban specifically:

  • Civilian firearms of “AR 15 family”, also derivates
  • Civilian firearms of “AK47 family”, also derivates
  • ALL detachable magazines above 10 rounds (also for handguns, repeating-firearms, rimfires etc.)
  • Strong regulation of magazines and semi-automatic firearms
  • Stricest evaluation of exemptions
  • Immediate decision on bans, since “EU citizens” demand more protection!

Sourced from EU commission document, 16. November 2016, published on Website of Austrian Parliament: Link

This article is avaiable in six languages:

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Finnish Organizations Issue a joint statement about firearms directive

Finnish organizations have together issued a joint statement to Vicky Ford, the shadow rapporteurs and to the trilogue-participating members of the Commission about the firearms directive proposal:

Dear Ms. Ford and the rapporteurs for the firearms directive:

First of all, we would like to sincerely thank you for the great work you have done so far to improve the technically misguided directive-draft 91/477/EEC Control of the acquisition and possession of weapons presented by the commission. The hard work you have done has not gone unnoticed among the hunters, sport shooters, firearms collectors, reservists and recreational shooters.

We, the undersigned organizations in Finland represent over 600 000 law-abiding firearms owners that have been following the process closely. Even though the current draft is better than the original, it still leaves some room for improvement. We have observed that the process and the proposal of the commission has already shifted the opinions of firearms owners towards euroscepticism and we wish that we would work together to prevent this from becoming a major trend among the citizens.

Currently the following parts of the proposal are generally viewed as unfounded:

  • Magazine restrictions have been tried before, but they have not had any impact on security merely harassment of law-abiding shooters.
  • Firearms categorization by non-technical criteria makes unambiguous interpretation of law impossible.
  • Length restrictions

The criteria above do not make firearm any more or less dangerous, and based on material we have seen so far, the proposal is not supported by facts or statistics, but instead driven by ideological reasons – which should not be the case in legislation.

We are also concerned about the mandatory maximum duration of firearms permit. Finland is a small country and the resources of our authorities are already stretched quite thin to maintain public security. Periodic renewal process would force government to allocate more resources into maintaining the permits which means diverting the resources and budget away from real problem, preventing the movement of the illegal firearms. A major problem these days is the lack of resources of the law enforcement for solving real crimes.

We wish you all the best of luck for the ongoing trilogues and sincerely hope that you can address the points listed above. We are also willing to support you in this process with free technical consultation. Please advise us how we can best be of assistance. Our liaisons in this matter are …

The statement above was signed pretty much by all significant associations, including hunters, firearms dealers, sport shooters, reserve organizations, firearms collectors and even air gunners, as well as FIREARMS UNITED.

finnish-against-eugunban

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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salami-tactic

IMCO’s Statement of First Trilogue Meeting

On 29th of September Vicky Ford (Rapporteur, ECR) and Anna Maria Corazza Bildt (Shadow Rapporteur, EPP) gave an update on the trialogue for the amendments of the Firearms Directive. You can follow her speech in this webstream at the beginning of the meeting during the first seven minutes.

imco-trialog-web

Links to webstream: here or here

Read more: summary of her speech and our opinion

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