Unelected bureaucrats at the European Union have published their proposals for new gun bans and restrictions in light of the Paris murders. As expected, the proposal amounts to a constructive ban on virtually all semi-auto rifles and will have little or no effect on terrorists and other criminals.
The proposal, which mostly consists of restrictions on gun licensing, is now available on the EU website. The detailed wording is available from the link titled ‘directive’ under the heading ‘for more information’.
The EU wants to ban all semi-auto rifles that look like military firearms. This, UKSN understands, would amount to a constructive ban on the vast majority of semi-auto rifles on the continent of Europe as well as affecting Britain’s .22 semi-auto market.
The proposed directive was put together by Internal Market and Industry Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska (Poland) and Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos (Greece).
Collectors of firearms are explicitly highlighted by the EU as a “possible source of traffic of firearms” (sic).
The proposal is an amendment to the existing firearms diktat (Directive 91/477/EEC) and now needs to be approved by the European Parliament (the elected body which can only approve or reject new EU Commission diktats) and Council (made up of heads of governments, not directly elected).
Key wording of the ban, at clause 13(a)(i):
“Semi-automatic firearms for civilian use which resemble weapons with automatic mechanisms”
This is surprisingly clear language from the EU. It is a straight attempt to ban firearms because of their form, not function. As worded, the ban would also cover semi-auto pistols, particularly the long barrel versions popular in the UK.
EU member states will be required to tell the EU Commission how they have implemented the ban once it is rubber-stamped by the EU “parliament”.
Mandatory medical testing
The EU wants every single firearm and shotgun owner in the bloc subjected to mandatory medical testing in order to own and use firearms. Wording, from page 16 under ‘Article 6’:
Member States shall provide for standard medical tests for issuing or renewing authorisations as referred to in paragraph 1 and shall withdraw authorisations if any of the conditions on the basis of which it was granted is no longer met.
This would have had no effect whatsoever upon the Paris murderers, who used illegally acquired full auto AK-pattern firearms.
Banning converted full-auto firearms
Fully automatic firearms which have been converted into legal semi-auto firearms will be made illegal. This is already the case in the UK but a small industry has built up around reducing full- or semi-auto rifles to spare parts and reassembling them as “new” (in the legal sense) straight pull rifles. It is unclear whether the directive would outlaw this business activity.
Converted full auto firearms are already illegal in Britain.
Building an EU-wide database of every individual gun owner
EUrocrats want to create a bloc-wide gun registry, of the type that was recently abandoned in Canada after costing taxpayers C$1 billion. Key wording, at page 17 under text proposed to be added to Article 13 of the existing EU Firearms Directive:
The competent authorities of the Member States shall exchange information on the authorisations granted for the transfers of firearms to another Member State as well as information with regard to refusals to grant authorisations as defined in Article 7.
The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 13a concerning the modalities of exchange of information on authorisations granted and on refusals.
This would create the EU-wide gun and gun owner database. It represents a huge threat to personal privacy and liberty and presents a massive target to hackers.
Britain already has a gun ownership registry, the National Firearms Licensing Management System (NFLMS). The system is known not to be 100% accurate, as acknowledged by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary. Negotiations are under way to procure a new system.
Making alarm guns and flare pistols licensable
As well as licensing real firearms, the EU wants to make gun-like objects licensable. Key wording, from page 16 of the proposal, under text to be added to Article 10a:
Member States shall take measures to ensure that alarm and signal weapons as well as salute and acoustic weapons cannot be converted into firearms.
The Commission shall adopt technical specifications for alarm and signal weapons as well as for salute and acoustic weapons to ensure they cannot be converted into firearms.
Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 13b(2).
This would cover things like blank-firing starting pistols and other blank firers that are not firearms, in UKSN’s opinion.
Deactivation standards to be ‘harmonised’
Judging by how much of this document reflects domestic policy discussion in Britain, it seems likely that the EU wants to bring standards for deactivated firearms in line with Britain. This means completely destroying and/or removing the internal parts, replacing bolt carriers with dummy parts made from sheet metal, and welding actions solid so deactivated firearms cannot even be cocked.
In Britain the justification has been that EU-spec deactivated firearms from Eastern Europe are, allegedly, easy to reactivate.
Key wording, from page 17, to be added to Article 10b:
Member States shall make arrangements for the deactivation of firearms to be verified by a competent authority in order to ensure that the modifications made to a firearm render it irreversibly inoperable. Member States shall, in the context of this verification, provide for the issuance of a certificate or record attesting to the deactivation of the firearm or the apposition of a clearly visible mark to that effect on the firearm.
The Commission shall adopt deactivation standards and techniques to ensure that deactivated firearms are rendered irreversibly inoperable. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 13b(2).
This, if applied retrospectively, would outlaw a very large number of deactivated firearms currently hung over fireplaces and used in battle reenactment scenarios.
‘Good reason’ for gun ownership – i.e. a ban on ‘shall-issue’ licensing
Gun owners in the EU must, under these proposals, provide a ‘good cause’ for owning firearms. This is analogous to the UK’s ‘section 1’ firearms licensing system, where a ‘good reason’ must be presented for each and every firearm owned.
From page 15, under text to be added to Article 5:
Without prejudice to Article 3, Member States shall authorise the acquisition and possession of firearms only by persons who have good cause and who:
(a) are at least 18 years of age, except in relation to the possession of firearms for hunting and target shooting, provided that in that case persons of less than 18 years of age have parental permission, or are under parental guidance or the guidance of an adult with a valid firearms or hunting licence, or are within a licenced or otherwise approved training centre;
(b) are not likely to be a danger to themselves, to public order or to public safety; having been convicted of a violent intentional crime shall be considered as indicative of such danger.
This would outlaw the UK’s ‘section 2’ system of shotgun licensing, where any number of shotguns may be acquired subject to enough police-approved secure storage being available.
Outlawing private internet sales
All internet sales except those from licensed dealers or brokers will be made illegal. This is aimed at outlawing private individuals from advertising their guns for sale.
The wording is at page 16, under text to be added to Article 6:
The acquisition of firearms and their parts and ammunition concerning categories A, B and C by means of distance communication, as defined in Article 2 of Directive 97/7/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council(*), shall be authorised only with respect to dealers and brokers and shall be subject to the strict control of the Member States.
This would have a severe effect upon websites such as Gunstar and Gunbroker in the UK, which function as a shop window. No money passes through the sites: they are merely for advertising.