Documents released by the European Union reveal that 13 countries so far have formally commented on the EU semi-automatic firearm ban proposals – but Britain hasn’t put anything in writing to Brussels about it.
The file, discovered by British campaign group Firearms UK, records the comments of the EU states on the proposed EU gun ban plan.
Of the 13 countries which responded, six were against the EU semi-auto ban, while one was against the directive but didn’t explicitly mention the ban as a problem.
Another member state supported the EU proposals except for the gun ban, while three others supported the ban and the rest of the plans without reservation.
Two nations were undecided or unclear as to whether they supported or opposed the proposed directive.
We would like to propose to leave semi-automatic firearms in Category B and to check every person instead of prohibition of semi-automatic firearms. This measure is effective, because it is a person who is responsible for pulling the trigger. Not a single gun can shoot by itself. – Lithuanian EU delegation.
Austria, Finland, Germany, Lithuania, Slovakia and Austria are all strongly against the EU’s planned amendments to its Firearms Directive, with one or two exceptions on specific points such as interconnecting national firearm registers.
“We do not think that the envisaged ban is a good solution to the currently existing situation and bears no relation to the core problem of the illegal ‘black market’ with firearms, which is the main source of weapons used in crime including terrorism,” wrote the Slovakian delegation.
Norway’s brief response revealed it was against the EU – but didn’t mention the semi-auto gun ban plan.
Estonia is a supporter of the EU’s proposals, except for the semi-automatic gun ban. As the Estonian delegation wrote: “We cannot support the proposal to restrict acquisition and possession of firearms that are possessed and used legally in accord with internal law of EU Member States.”
France, Greece and Bulgaria all support the gun ban and the rest of the EU’s proposals without reservation, and Bulgaria said it strongly supports the total ban on internet sales. The Czech Republic is also strongly in favour of the EU’s proposals, and its delegation highlighted the proposed ban on internet sales as a particular point they agreed with.
Portugal’s response was unclear, as it appeared their delegate had simply emailed the EU a copy of its own proposed directive text without comment.
Spain was undecided, its delegate raising some minor questions over the wording of the proposal but otherwise not commenting for or against.
A previous version of this article incorrectly stated the Czech Republic was strongly in favour of the EU gun ban. UKSN’s author apologises for mixing up Bulgaria’s response with the Czech response and has edited the article to remove this mistake.