EU gun ban: Here’s what happened last week

13 June 2016 – Last week the EU Council adopted the most draconian parts of the EU gun ban as its official policy. What does that mean – and is it likely to pass?

As reported on UK Shooting News last Friday, the EU council’s adopted measures will impose:

 

  • 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 firearms may only 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” – which could end the UK’s Section 2 shotgun licensing regime.
  • Mandatory mental health tests to determine your “reliability”

But who are the EU Council? Why are they adopting these measures when the EU Parliament, under Vicky Ford MEP, rejected them? How is all this legally foisted on us? What will happen next?

To answer those questions you need to understand how the EU makes laws. It’s a lot more complicated than our own Parliament.

The EU’s main legislative players and who they are

There are three main houses in the EU’s legislative process. These are: the EU Parliament, made up of elected MEPs; the EU Commission, made up of unelected bureaucrats, some of whom are appointed by EU subject states’ governments; and the EU Council (formally known as the “Council of the European Union”), which is made up of people from EU subject states’ governments. These are usually politicians, in which case they’re normally senior ministers, but can also be bureaucrats, civil servants or diplomats. It varies depending on what areas (e.g. home affairs, foreign policy, defence, etc) the council wants to interfere with.

The EU Council has a rotating presidency; it changes hands every six months. At the moment we are almost at the end of the Dutch presidency. Slovakia is due to take over from next month. Each country thus has a turn at the wheel, dictating the EU Council’s priorities. The ‘European Council’ is the name given to the EU Council when heads of state from EU subject states meet under its authority, which happens once every 3 months. These meetings are what the papers call “EU summits”.

The EU Commission is the only one of the three with the power to write laws. Although the EU Council and the EU Parliament can propose amendments to EU diktats drawn up by the EU Commission, only the commission has the final say over the wording of EU laws.

How does the EU create and impose its diktats on us?

The EU Commission announces a new diktat. It must then wait for the EU Parliament and the EU Council to decide whether they agree or disagree with it. If the parliament agrees with the diktat, the EU Council rubber-stamps it and it becomes law. If the parliament disagrees, things become more complex.

A round of ‘tennis’ follows, with the three houses sending drafts of the diktat back and forth, trying to come to a common position. If, after a set number of rounds, they don’t – as is now happening with the EU gun ban – then the EU Council calls for the ‘conciliation committee’ to form. This is made up of an equal number of MEPs and council representatives, with the EU Commission supposedly involved as mediators between the two.

This means the elected representatives are outnumbered by bureaucrats and other countries’ ministers.

If the conciliation committee approves the diktat’s wording, the council and commission rubber-stamp it and it becomes EU law. If they don’t approve it, the diktat fails.

UK Shooting News’ author is not an expert on EU law and this is mostly cribbed from the EU’s website and Wikipedia, which is far clearer than the EU itself. Corrections are gratefully welcomed if this is substantially wrong.

So what happened last week with the gun ban?

Reuters reported that interior ministers from across the EU adopted the draconian version of the gun ban plan. This – aside from implicating Home Secretary Theresa May – indicates that the EU Council has now fixed its position in favour of the full-fat ban.

The EU Parliament, back in March, set out its stance against the EU gun ban, removing most of the drastic measures which were originally proposed by the EU Commission and which have now been re-adopted by the council. Numerous exemptions have been introduced into the EU Council’s version to neutralise opposition from Eastern Europe and Scandinavian countries. The original EU gun ban plan would have made it illegal for their military reservists to store their issued weapons at home, amongst other things. Only Poland and the Czech Republic’s governments still oppose the EU gun ban, and while MEPs from across the bloc opposed the gun ban back in winter, UKSN is not aware how many of them have since changed their voting plans.

This means the final stage of the EU gun ban fight will be in the ‘conciliation committee’. UKSN’s author is no expert but understands, from talking to Eurosceptic EU-watchers, that the bureaucrats almost always win these final stages.

 

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16 thoughts on “EU gun ban: Here’s what happened last week

  1. Nicholas Harman

    Is this the best day to argue for relaxation of gun laws?

    And while I can’t comment on whether Eastern Europeans’ have a particular need to be armed at all times, the other proposed laws do not seem draconian. A trifle inconvenient perhaps, maybe will cost money, but that’s all.

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    1. krabice

      These measures translate as banning all semi-automatic firearms designed after 1955 and registering under license of air-rifles, black-powder single-shots, Flobert guns and more.

      Therefore, they are actually more draconian than the gun bans which were imposed on the occupied Czechoslovakia by the Nazis and then Stalinist communists.

      Neither you nor the EU politicians have the democratic mandate and legitimacy to confiscate the firearms we have legally acquired and bought.

      As for the rest, Czech Republic with it’s Concealed Carry laws has way lower criminality with firearms than UK, in which most firearms have been banned for almost 20 years, and here, firearms kept for self-defense save lives every year. Firearms held for self-defense save more lives than they’re misused to take away.

      Which also means that every person dictating us to surrender our guns is a murderer and blood of all the people who were rendered defenseless by him or her fall on his/her hands.

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    1. Paul

      Facists, socialists or communists, they all appear to have the same agenda … roll on the 23rd and get us out of this so-called organisation. The blind leading the stupid, amidst chaos – could it get any worse?

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  2. Gary E Nelson

    I am a sport shooter, Swedish National Pistol competitions.
    The ban on any weapon holding more than 21 rounds is reasonable to me. What is the need for more?
    Banning break barrel shotguns is stupid; one round at a time? I had one in the USA. Slow to reload. Not worth having unless warning trespassers off. And muzzle loading replica firearms? What moron wrote these proposals?
    If a firearm is deactivated, and cannot be fired, what is the point? Revenue increases for the government? As for alarm guns if you shoot at someone and miss the head with one of those all you have is a very angry recipient of the flare and you better be able to reload very fast.
    The 3-5 year licensing requirement is fairly reasonable as long as they speak in terms of five years. This results in a periodic check to determine whether the weapons registered are still in the possession of the original owner.
    Safe storage is not a bad thing.
    The comments regarding “exemption from the above-mentioned bans would be granted to “sport shooters” and “Sporting firearms may only be possessed if the owner demonstrates a “need” to have them” can become ”gimpy”, in that this may be the beginning to further restrictions that in the end will result in the ultimate banning of “weapons”. I have four pistols I use in competitions. I DO NOT possess any weapons. As for “exemptions” how much paperwork and “begging” will have to be dealt with to pass that test.
    On the one hand if the restrictions proposed within this page pass, no real harm done. On the other hand, the anti-firearms people who have deluded themselves into thinking if they whip the good guys into shape the bad guys will follow suit have to be educated. Suppressing the rights of good citizens will only lead to chaos.
    This one scares me. Mandatory mental health tests to determine your “reliability”. What will be the guidelines regarding mental health tests? I worked for the US Government for 42 years and after suffering through that I have a bit of a temper. Will I be denied possession of a sport pistol?
    In conclusion I have the sneaking feeling someone read the Swedish Firearms Regulations as it looks nearly the same, with the exception of the ridiculous Mental Health Tests. Who pays for that? Here in Sweden if the government says “do this” in this context the government has to pay for it. More burden on the taxpayers.
    What is needed now is names of those who drafted the above regulations so we can find their contact information (email) and let them know how ridiculous this all is in the greater context.

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. TIM

      Teresa May
      Home Office,
      London,
      United Kingdom.
      There you go Gary, first one for you……sorry but I don’t have the post code to hand. I am fairly sure that she will have had a large hand in this complete stupidity and can absolutely assure you that as an “Interior Minister” she will have voted “Aye”
      She did of course consult with all interested parties within the UK prior to this decision as per the reply to the recent petition within the UK.

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      1. Gary E Nelson

        Thank you Tim

        Iwrote the following:

        mayt@parliament.uk
        Subject: EU proposals to ban handguns
        Good Evening and greetings from Sweden.

        My name is Gary Nelson. I am American born and currently reside in Sweden. For circa 22 years I competed in pistol competitions in the USA. I am a world champion Police Revolver competitor and hold two National Records. Marksmanship is my passion.

        I moved to Sweden in June 2012. Since then I have noticed a surge of proposals emanating from the EU Government that involve the banning of pistols, shotguns and rifles. This banishment is targeted towards law abiding citizens. I took some time to research your political profile.

        You are the best hope for law abiding citizens to continue sport shooting and hunting in Europe and the UK. Your comments that the weapons terrorists acquire must be stopped it gallant. That is the reality that must be focused on.

        Taking firearms away from law abiding citizens, or even limiting them, punishes the victims. There are a few proposals that make sense. Banning weapons that hold a large number of rounds is practical, and requiring firearms owners to have weapons safes is simply the right thing to do.

        I have also researched that the vast majority,if not all,of those in the EU arena that have suggested ridiculous proposals do not have a clue as to what marksmanship and hunting involves. I implore you to agree this must stop.

        If a staff member of yours has been assigned to this topic I am happy to work with them from Sweden. A set of proposals that focuses on terrorism and all that goes with it, without sacrificing the rights of the law abiding would be the goal.

        Gary E Nelson

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      2. Gaz Corfield Post author

        Am I reading this right? A US citizen living in Sweden has written to the British Home Secretary egging on her backroom gun ban deals which she hopes to impose on her subjects via the EU, evading proper scrutiny by those who elected her?

        You, sir, are a very bizarre individual.

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      3. Gary E Nelson

        I am bizarre? Many thanks for the compliment. I spent 42 years in the US Government and constantly cried out “the emperor has no clothes”. My superiors hated me for that. But here I am in Sweden. Most pragmatic guns laws in the world. How many in the UK have to shoot a qualifying scores, take two written tests, secure their firearms in a proper safe…etc? If what anyone says is pragmatic, I support them. If they deviate from reality and the facts I stand against them. If you want me to fall in step with every nuance of your opinions and thinking my next step would be to buy a swastika armband, and I shall not go that route. History dictates that democracy requires exchange and dialogue. Takes more time but it works in the end. I actually worked for the National Rifle Association of America for nine weeks as a firearms instructor and when I did not “fall in step” every step of the way they fired me. If what you represent is that line of thinking the protection of rights of lawful firearms ownership is in grave danger.

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    2. krabice

      Huge misunderstanding: the ban is on ANY firearm which THEORATICALLY COULD accept the 21-round magazine (11-round magazine in long arms.)

      And since every firearm with detachable magazine could, this translates as ban on all handguns and magazine-fed semi-automatic.

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  3. John Brown

    The proposed ban/ restrictions on muzzleloading weapons particularly bothers me. It indicates that the people involved with these new proposals are quite ignorant about firearms and, if not resisted, will eventually deny the use of all types of legally held weapons to law abiding citizens.

    Liked by 1 person

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  4. Roger H

    Any firearm with a detachable magazine could be fitted with one holding more than 21 rounds and therefore would automatically be banned!.

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    1. Paul

      The EU had better get their cheque book out and they will need to compensate me for at least a dozen … at £ 65 a pop … or should I say £ 65 divided by 21 a pop?

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  5. Ed Wright

    Gary E Nelson said “How many in the UK have to shoot a qualifying scores, take two written tests, secure their firearms in a proper safe…etc?” The majority of UK rifle clubs demand that you can prove you can hit the target, obtain a “safe to shoot” certification consisting of at least 8 sections (based on the NRA approved course), and all guns must be stored in a police approved safe! So the answer to your question is “A lot of us!” Based on this, I resent and oppose EU diktats that restrict us from owning a .22 calibre rifle with 25 rounds capacity used for gallery shooting competitions simply because it has a large number of rounds or looks like an AR-15. These guns have NEVER been used in terrorist attacks and banning them (or semi-auto shotguns) will do NOTHING to increase our safety from such attacks, which is ultimately the purpose of the proposed changes. Once again, the most law abiding citizens are being challenged because of misguided and non-democratic beurocracy. Guns in safes? Ok. Proper licensing? Ok. Ban on legitimate ownership by type? Absolutely not. Only full auto guns should be illegal.

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    1. Paul

      Ed, I have said this before on this forum; you have to remember that the apparatchiks, whether they be domestic or EU, are very clever people and logic isn’t of any interest to them. They see it, but they just don’t care about it. They see you and me as a threat to their comfortable existence because in their paranoia they fear that you have the ultimate means to get rid of them. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but someday. The fact that, in reality, we are law-abiding people who respect and uphold the law is irrelevant to them. Bit by bit they will erode the freedoms of the rest of us. This has been going on since at least 1918 and I have copies of the documents detailing how they intend to achieve their objectives. It is clear from those documents that spin isn’t a modern construct – I think the rough wording used in 1918 was in esence, ‘never let a good trajedy go to waste’. I think that by now we are all somewhat familiar with that concept. How do you eat an elephant? One mouthful at a time.

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    2. Gary E Nelson

      I shall elaborate.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/25_meter_center-fire_pistol

      Here we must produce a score of 46 out of 50 (five shots) on the target described above, and do so three times,strong hand only. Thereafter 6 rounds in 15 seconds in a 30 centimeter circle, two hands, and also three times. Fact is many fail this requirement, and this is required every five years otherwise the licenses must be surrendered.

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