Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Brussels Pushes Gun Control in Wake of Paris Attacks

Friday, November 20, 2015

Brussels Pushes Gun Control in Wake of Paris Attacks

On November 18, the European Commission expedited a plan to overhaul the European Union’s already restrictive gun control laws. The move comes in the immediate wake of November 13th’s terrorist shooting and bombing attacks that killed 129 in Paris, France. Just how the European Commission expects new restrictions on civilian firearm ownership to influence the behavior of suicidal violent extremists with access to explosives and military-grade ordnance, remains unclear.

Currently, the EU sets a minimum threshold of gun control that all member countries must enact. Countries are free to adopt further gun restrictions, and some do (i.e., United Kingdom).

At present, EU law (Directive 91/477/EEC) requires (amongst other restrictions) that member states:

  •          Maintain a computerized data-filing system including “each firearm’s type, make, model, calibre and serial number, as well as the names and addresses of the supplier and the person acquiring or possessing the firearm,” and “ensure that all firearms may be linked to their owner at any moment.”
  •          Disqualify individuals from firearm possession and acquisition based on set criteria, such as age and criminal history.
  •          Only permit firearm possession and acquisition by “persons who have good cause.”
  •          Require individuals to obtain government authorization before to acquire or possess any handgun, nearly all semi-automatic long-guns, and certain types of shotguns.
  •          Require individuals to declare to government authorities their possession of bolt, pump, and lever-action firearms, single-shot rifles, and certain semi-automatics not subject to prior government authorization.
  •          Ban automatic firearms, and expanding handgun ammunition (other than for purposes of hunting).

The European Commission’s new proposal would impose a number of new restrictions to the current regulatory framework.

Current EU law permits individuals to possess and acquire “[s]emi-automatic firearms for civilian use which resemble weapons with automatic mechanisms.” This, however, is subject to obtaining authorization from their government, which is in turn is subject to strict EU mandates on who may possess or acquire firearms.

The new legislation places these guns into the same category as automatic firearms, banning them for civilian use. As part of their justification for the ban, the preamble to the legislation contends, “[s]ome semi-automatic firearms can be easily converted to automatic firearms, thus posing a threat to security,” adding, “certain semi-automatic firearms may be very dangerous when their capacity regarding the number of rounds is high.” Given this odd categorization of firearms, the exact types of firearms that fall into this category are not entirely clear. The legislation also bans previously automatic firearms that have been converted to semi-automatic.

The proposal also severely curtails possession and acquisition of non-firing decommissioned firearms popular with collectors. Decommissioned firearms derived from automatic firearms are banned entirely.

The legislation also tightens how states may determine a person is eligible to own firearms. The proposal demands that member states “provide for standard medical tests for issuing or renewing authorisations.” Currently states are free to issue gun licenses for multiple years, without restriction as to the number of years a license is valid. The proposal would set a five-year limit on license validity.

The legislation increases recordkeeping burdens. Whereas current EU law requires that states maintain information on each firearm and its possessor in a computerized data-filing system for “not less than 20 years,” the proposal extends this “until the destruction of the firearm has been certified by the competent authorities.” Moreover, it would require member states to ensure that dealer records are also connected to this computerized data-filing system.

Further, under the proposal, individuals would be required to declare possession of “’alarm and signal weapons’… which are specifically designed and constructed for the purpose of raising alarm or sending signal” (think flare guns) to their government.

Directly citing the Paris attacks in an “Explanatory Memorandum” accompanying the European Commission’s proposed legislation, the authors contend that the terrorist attacks have “shown why we need” further regulation. The memorandum goes on to acknowledge that the EU’s current regulatory framework is “largely derived” from the United Nations Firearms Protocol.

The EU legislative process is often criticized as convoluted and suffering from what many term a “democratic deficit.” However, the broad outline is that the European Commission initiates legislation, which then must be approved by the European Parliament and the European Council.

There are certainly some in the United States that would prefer a system where passions inflamed by tragedy might be more easily converted into impulsive government action. However, at times like these freedom-loving Americans should further appreciate the more democratic and deliberative legislative process our constitutional system affords.

TRENDING NOW
Supreme Court Asked to Review Maryland's Gun Ban

News  

Friday, July 21, 2017

Supreme Court Asked to Review Maryland's Gun Ban

A group of Maryland citizens, with the support of the National Rifle Association, filed a petition to the United States Supreme Court on Friday seeking to reverse a Court of Appeals ruling that stripped some of America’s most ...

The Danger Of A “Not In My Backyard” Mentality On Shooting Ranges

News  

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Danger Of A “Not In My Backyard” Mentality On Shooting Ranges

Muscatine County, Iowa, is home to about 40,000 people, and like too many places around the country, gun owners there have no public range where they can practice or compete safely. That may be changing, ...

Court to Texas College Professors: Your Irrational Fear of Gun Owners Is Not Legally Addressable

News  

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Court to Texas College Professors: Your Irrational Fear of Gun Owners Is Not Legally Addressable

Last Thursday, a federal judge in Austin, Texas, dismissed a lawsuit by several professors who sought to block the University of Texas from implementing a state law that provides for the lawful carrying of concealed ...

Former Bloomberg Lackey Comes Clean on True Anti-gun Agenda

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, July 21, 2017

Former Bloomberg Lackey Comes Clean on True Anti-gun Agenda

Back when Mark Glaze was executive director of Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns, and later Everytown for Gun Safety, he went to great lengths to portray his master’s anti-gun positions as moderate. Glaze used ...

One More Reason Gun Owners Should Be Celebrated

News  

Second Amendment  

Thursday, July 20, 2017

One More Reason Gun Owners Should Be Celebrated

The safety record of America’s gun owners is nothing short of stunning. 

CMP Sales of 1911s One Step Closer With House Passage of 2018 NDAA

Friday, July 14, 2017

CMP Sales of 1911s One Step Closer With House Passage of 2018 NDAA

On Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2810, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2018. Included in the bill is a provision that would make U.S. Army surplus 1911 .45 ACP ...

The Need for National Reciprocity

News  

Friday, July 21, 2017

The Need for National Reciprocity

A report from the Crime Prevention Research Center estimates that the number of concealed carry permits issued last year was the largest increase ever – continuing a four year trend of record setting increases in ...

California:  "Assault Weapon" Regulations Take 3: CA DOJ Resubmits Regulations

Friday, July 21, 2017

California: "Assault Weapon" Regulations Take 3: CA DOJ Resubmits Regulations

Today, July 21, the California Department of Justice (“DOJ”), without warning or any notification,  submitted another set of proposed regulations for the registration of newly classified “assault weapons” to the Office of Administrative Law.  As ...

“She Persisted” – Gun Owner Fights Unlawful “No Return” Gun Policy

News  

Friday, July 21, 2017

“She Persisted” – Gun Owner Fights Unlawful “No Return” Gun Policy

On July 17, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit confirmed that law enforcement officials in New York acted unlawfully with respect to guns confiscated from a Nassau County woman in 2012.  

California: Anti-Gun Bills to be Heard in Assembly Appropriations Committee on Wednesday, July 19

Monday, July 17, 2017

California: Anti-Gun Bills to be Heard in Assembly Appropriations Committee on Wednesday, July 19

On Wednesday, July 19, anti-gun bills SB 464 and SB 497 are scheduled to be heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee at 9AM in State Capitol room 4202.  Assembly Bill 424 remains eligible for third ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.