European Union bureaucrats want to ban all semi-automatic rifles including .22s, have a total ban on civilians owning full auto firearms and impose a partial ban on internet firearm sales, according to the Finnish government.
Campaign group Firearms United, an association of EU recreational shooters, found the original Finnish report and ran it through Google Translate before posting the result on their Facebook page. The report was bylined to Maria Manner in the Helsingin Sanomat newspaper and the original is online here.
Finnish Interior Ministry’s data show that there are plans to ban at least a series of firearms for private individuals, as well as changes in the availability and ecommerce for semi-automatic weapons.
“According to our records the biggest changes include a ban on a series of firearms and the transfer of semi-automatic weapons in the prohibited category, which resemble military weapons. It is not exactly known yet what would fall into this category,” said Police Inspector Seppo Sivula the Ministry of Interior Police Department.
The prohibition of a whole series of firearms would also include deactivated weapons owned by collectors. In addition, the Commission will consider to ban semi-automatic versions of assault rifles and submachine guns.
The report said the Finnish government opposes the EU bans because they would affect the ability of the country’s reservists to train for sporting competitions. It appears that some Finnish competitions are based around competitors using their service-issue rifles. In addition, the paper highlighted that any semi-auto ban would severely damage IPSC competition disciplines.
UK Shooting News reported that unelected EU bureaucrats had formally begun the process of rewriting the Firearms Directive, a diktat that all EU member countries must adopt through passing new national laws. In the UK such laws are typically brought onto the statute book through Statutory Instruments, which receive little or no Parliamentary debate time.
However, the EU rewrite comes as the Law Commission is still mulling over its response to the public consultation on the commission’s own proposals to update Britain’s firearms laws.
New bans are, it goes almost without saying, unnecessary, certainly in the British context of the strictest functional firearms licensing laws in the world.