The Tory Party mostly supports the #EUgunban

Shooters hoping for help from the Conservative Party’s MEPs are doomed to disappointment, it appears, after messages to voters revealed that Tories plan to back the upcoming EU gun ban plan.

An email from the office of Richard Ashworth MEP, seen by UK Shooting News, said: “The proposals concerning firearms have been foreseen since the European Security Agenda which was adopted in April 2015, but have been accelerated as a result of the tragic attacks in Paris. In light of the threats posed by terrorism it is necessary for Europe to work closely together in matters of national-security and counter-terrorism.”

It continued: “The use of firearms by criminal and terrorist organisations poses a great security threat to citizens, as we have witnessed on several occasions this year. These tragic events call for a stronger, coordinated European approach to control the use of weapons and fight against trafficking of firearms, as well as to combat crime and terrorism.

“The Home Secretary, the Rt Hon Theresa May MP, reiterated these concerns and support for a more coordinated approach in a statement to the House of Commons following the attacks in Paris. On Friday 20th November, Mrs May attended an extraordinary meeting of the European Justice and Home Affairs Council, where she pressed for the need of greater information-sharing, passenger name records, and action on firearms.”

Conservatives in the European Parliament agree on the need for a new [Firearms] Directive.

Ashworth’s email did mention some concerns about the proposed semi-auto ban, but visibly stopped short of promising opposition.

“There does need to be wider consideration of some of the proposals, such as the de facto ban firearms which are now included in the category B7,” Ashworth’s staffer wrote on his behalf.

“Semi-automatic rifles that “resemble” military weapons are widely used in some of the most popular forms of shooting sports, hunting and especially practical shooting (IPSC) and its derivatives,” continued the staffer. “In some member states, they are widely owned and used for active reservists. Thus, a very large number of such weapons are currently owned by civilians in the EU. Conservatives in the European Parliament believe it is important to be careful that the EU does not ban the use of all firearms for sporting and reservist activities, and indirectly affect the national defence doctrines in some Member States.”

The EU gun ban, as worded, will only ban semi-auto firearms that “look military”, providing a fig leaf for MEPs to claim they are not harming the peaceful shooting sports. It appears likely that Tory MEPs will be instructed to use this blush-sparing getout clause when they vote to endorse the EU’s plan.

With Labour MEPs unequivocally supporting the ban, it appears that only UKIP are seriously considering proper opposition to it.

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4 thoughts on “The Tory Party mostly supports the #EUgunban

  1. Mr.Smith

    We in the UK have suffered most firearms restrictions under Conservative governments, as a member of the Conservative party with access to many MP’s and high up officials, on the 16th December will be meeting with Philip Hammond [Foreign Sec] to burn his ear on this.
    All the Conservative MP’s I have met said the Pistol ban was wrong, excepting one MP, Michael Howard who took the laws through parliament while home sec.
    It is as they say, something has to be seen to be done, even though it does no good, the press do not question them on their actions, them people think they have done something and all is well, come a month or two, a knock on effect shows up, Oh mess! Still cannot be helped we did something, will not correct it.
    Same old same old. Hypocrisy, and sloppy governance. And it is accepted.

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  2. Colin Jenkins

    Terrorists don’t apply for firearms licences and they don’t buy their fully automatic weapons, grenades and explosives in gun shops!

    The EU is cynically using the Paris atrocity to bring forward its anti-shooting agenda.

    Most of the email from Hainsworths staffer is a cut and past job from the FAQ page and the directive itself, even the bit about hunting and practical shooting. I received the same response from him as did dozens of others, it is important that he is challenged further on this so that he actually has to make some effort to actually respond with his own thoughts, not a staffers cut and paste exercise.

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  3. Nick B

    I can confirm that Timothy Kirkhope is very much toeing the party line on this – Jane Collins (UKIP MEP) is however very much against this legislation – as yet I have not received a response from ANY of the Labour MEP’s in my area (Yorkshire/Humber)

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