Updated, 10 June 2016 – Campaign website Firearms United reports that the EU Council is trying to formally adopt a draconian UK-style gun ban on semi-auto firearms, standard size magazines and enforce licensing of deactivated firearms, while the continent is distracted by Brexit.
According to Firearms United’s latest post – which carries a headline even UK Shooting News’ author would baulk at – the Dutch-led EU presidency, which currently controls the EU’s main institutions but whose term ends in a fortnight or so, is trying to rush through:
- A ban on all those semi-automatic handguns capable of accepting detachable or fixed magazines holding more than 21 rounds, as well as said detachable or fixed magazines.
- Abolition of EU firearm category D, meaning that firearms such as break-barrel single-shot shotguns and muzzle-loading replicas of antique firearms would be heavily regulated.
- Mandatory registration of alarm guns and deactivated firearms.
- Mandatory three year or five year expiry of all gun licenses and “constant medical supervision” of gun owners.
- Mandatory “safe storage” of firearms along the UK model, which would have severe consequences in Eastern Europe where firearms may be lawfully owned for self-defence.
- While an exemption from the above-mentioned bans would be granted to “sport shooters”, they would have to become members of an authorized shooting federation.
- “Sporting guns” exempt from the ban should be identified as such by an authorized shooting federation that is recognized by the ISSF, meaning that potentially no firearm other than Olympic shooting guns would be “sporting guns” anymore.
EDIT 1250 BST: The last point is wrong. Firearms United has misread the original EU document; it says sporting firearms may be possessed if the owner demonstrates a “need” to have them for competitions organised either by an internationally recognised shooting sport federation or an “official national shooting sport federation.”
However, it also seeks to impose mandatory mental health tests to establish the shooter’s “reliability”. This breaches the normal presumption that people are healthy, physically and mentally, unless proven otherwise.
Update: The EU also wants to impose a UK-style ban on short semi-automatic rifles by defining a minimum length for them. The relevant rules, set out at page 25 of the letter linked at the bottom of this post, sets out its shopping list of things to ban:
(ii) In Category A, the following points are added:
6. Automatic firearms which have been converted into semi-automatic firearms.
7. Any of the following centre fire semi-automatic firearms:
a) short firearms which allow the firing of more than 21 rounds without reloading, if a loading device with a capacity exceeding 20 rounds is part of the firearm or is inserted into it; and
b) long firearms which allow the firing of more than 11 rounds without reloading, if a loading device with a capacity exceeding 10 rounds is part of the firearm or is inserted into it.
8. Semi-automatic long firearms (i.e. firearms that are originally intended to be fired from the shoulder) that can be reduced to a length of less than 60cm without losing functionality by means of a folding or telescoping stock or by a stock that can be removed without using tools.
9. Loading devices, apt to be fitted to centre fire semi-automatic or to repeating firearms, with the following characteristics:
a) loading devices which can hold more than 20 rounds;
b) loading devices for long firearms which can hold more than 10 rounds.
Stupidly, the EU diktat’s proposed wording also reads: “Such loading devices, such as fixed or detachable magazines, as well as feeding belts, should also be prohibited. When individuals are found to be in the possession of such loading devices these should be seized…”
UKSN looks forward to EU bureaucrats raiding Camden Market and alt-music festivals to seize bullet belts made from spent cases and machine gun belt links.
In addition, this EU diktat would impose licensing of deactivated firearms, compounding the madness of the EU’s previous idiocy on deactivated firearms.
UK Shooting News urges readers to write to their MPs and MEPs today. Tell them to oppose any further restrictions being placed on law-abiding sportsmen and their equipment. In particular, they must help reject the proposals rushed forward by the EU’s presidency in this letter dated 8th June (PDF) because the majority of them have been rejected by the EU Parliament once already.