29 March 2016 – We’re not quite out of the woods yet, but the latest official draft of the EU gun ban plan looks very promising, with many of the most restrictive and unnecessary proposals having been shelved or watered down.
The draft, by British MEP Vicky Ford, its rapporteur, can be read here: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-%2F%2FEP%2F%2FNONSGML+COMPARL+PE-578.822+01+DOC+PDF+V0%2F%2FEN
UK Shooting News’ author has only skim-read the document, but points that jump out are:
- Medical tests have been downgraded to a medical “check”, implying a UK-style review of your medical paperwork. This is a step on the right path but not a victory.
- Deactivation standards appear to have been kicked into the long grass again. Certain countries’ deactivation standards (almost certainly including the UK) may be grandfathered in, helping avoid the need to weld everything solid on the 8th April – but it seems that grandfathering will cease to apply if the gun is “placed on the market”.
- Private internet sales will not be banned, but must take place in circumstances where the seller can verify that the buyer has a licence or other authorisation to possess firearms. This means face-to-face transactions or collecting firearms from a dealer who will check your paperwork.
- Museums and collectors will no longer have to destroy their valuable collections of fully automatic firearms and that ban proposal has been dropped.
- Distributing 3D printer blueprints for firearms will become a criminal offence, under what appears to be a separate proposal referenced in these amendments.
- Sound moderators are explicitly excluded from licensing in the EU proposal. EU countries can still restrict them, as the UK does.
- The proposal to ban all semi-automatic firearms has been dropped, and instead will only apply to semi-auto firearms converted into full auto firearms.
“The Rapporteur understands that the Commission’s proposal to recategorise ‘semiautomatic firearms for civilian use that resemble weapons with automatic mechanisms’ into Category A would cause many practical problems in implementation and has been tried and rejected in certain Member States in the past,” said a short statement at the end of the latest amendments.