#EUgunban: Theresa May wants an EU-wide ban on semi-auto rifles

A statement made to Parliament last week reveals that Home Secretary Theresa May is actively lobbying the EU for a ban on all but .22 semi-automatic rifles.

If May gets her way, the whole of the EU will be subject to Britain’s illogical firearms laws. Opposition to her stance is likely to be fierce as the free countries within the EU are known to be strong opponents of any attempt to impose UK-style laws on them.

The statement, made last Wednesday to the House of Commons, was spotted by UKSN reader Nick. May told Parliament:

Discussion then turned to progress on negotiation of a revised Firearms Directive. There were five issues raised for discussion by the Presidency: a minimum age for the acquisition of firearms; a requirement for medical testing before obtaining a license; exemptions for museums and collectors; online sales; and which types of weapons to ban. I indicated UK support for options on the minimum age, medical tests, and museums issues which give Member States the greatest degree of national discretion. This was supported by a majority of Member States. On online sales, most Member States supported strict controls. However, the Presidency acknowledged that some Member States, including the UK, favoured processes that allowed for the verification of the buyer’s identity. The most contentious issue was the banning of semi-automatic weapons. I argued in favour of banning the most dangerous types of these weapons, and that experts needed to conclude work on what those weapons were swiftly. A majority of Member States opposed prohibition on the basis that there were legitimate uses of semi-automatic weapons, but indicated they were open to considering additional controls. The Presidency concluded that it would take work forward based on majority views.

Indications are that the EU gun ban plan is slipping to the right, with a final vote appearing to have moved from June to later this year.

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