Theresa May has called for a ban on assault rifles across the entire EU, revealing her ignorance of British firearms licensing laws – which she is politically responsible for.
In comments made in Parliament yesterday and reported by the Daily Express, May said: “This Friday I will attend an extraordinary meeting of the European Justice and Home Affairs Council where I will press the need for greater information sharing, passenger name records and action on firearms.”
“In the UK we’ve seen tough legislation work so we want to see action taken to make a difference to the availability of firearms in Europe, especially assault rifles,” continued the Home Secretary.
Earlier today UK Shooting News reported further details of the EU’s proposed gun ban, which seems to cover all semi-automatic firearms and rifles that ‘look military’ in appearance. Poland is the latest nation to come out against it, with Finland having led the charge last week.
May doesn’t appear to know that the UK’s strict firearms laws ban certain firearms based on their dimensions: a firearm with an overall length of less than 24″ or a barrel less than 12″ long is prohibited. Self-loading rifles in any calibre greater than .22″ are also prohibited. Other than technical restrictions about shotgun magazine capacities and licence types, as well as bans on fully automatic firearms, pump-action shotguns and firearms disguised as other objects, that’s about it.
There are no bans in Britain based on the mere appearance of a firearm. May’s proposal would have a severe and immediate impact on the lawful shooting sports in the UK because there are many popular .22″ replicas of rifles used by governments on the market, from WW2 M1 Garands to modern MP5 clones.
Like many politicians faced with public calls to ‘do something’, May is taking the path of easiest resistance in order to appease the mob by appearing to be tough. Laws only target the law-abiding: smuggling firearms and using firearms to kill and injure are already criminal offences.
UKSN looks forward to British shooting representative bodies publicly calling politicians to account for these moves.