Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

European Parliament and Council Reach Agreement on EU Firearms Directive

Friday, December 23, 2016

European Parliament and Council Reach Agreement on EU Firearms Directive

At the same time Europeans are exhibiting a renewed interest in exercising their right to self-defense, the European Parliament and European Council have come to an agreement to place new restrictions on civilian access to firearms. On December 20, the European Commission and European Council confirmed that a compromise on significant changes to the European Firearms Directive was reached. The new agreement pares down the European Commission’s initial proposal to severely restrict civilian ownership of semi-automatic firearms, however, other oppressive measures remain.

As we’ve reported previously, following the November 13, 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris, the EU expedited plans for new gun restrictions when on November 18, 2015 the European Commission adopted plans to change the European Firearms Directive. The changes would set a new minimum gun control threshold that EU member states would be required to meet by enacting domestic legislation. Among the worst changes, the wide-ranging initial draft of the new directive threatened a broad ban semi-automatic firearms and included onerous new licensing requirements.

The initial proposal, particularly the provisions restricting civilian ownership of semi-automatic rifles, was met with significant hostility from several EU Member States. States such as Finland and Switzerland (not an EU member, but subject to certain EU legislation), that have a strong tradition of citizen participation in their national defense strategies, expressed concern about the implications that restrictions would have for their defense capabilities, or in the case of Switzerland, that the new measures could disarm veterans of their service rifles. Other member states with vibrant shooting cultures and robust firearms manufacturing, such as Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic, and Poland, also resisted the proposed legislation’s most onerous provisions.

The most significant change between the European Parliament and European Council agreement and the initial European Commission proposal is how the directive treats semi-automatic firearms. Initially, the European Commission proposed to reclassify Category B7 firearms, which are “Semi-automatic firearms for civilian use which resemble' weapons with automatic mechanisms,” as Category A firearms, which would have made them subject to the same controls as fully-automatic firearms and prohibited them from civilian ownership. The European Commission also expressed a desire to ban magazines with a capacity greater than 10 rounds.

While the exact language of the European Parliament and European Council compromise has not been made public, the European Commission has released a summary of the agreement’s provisions on semi-automatic firearms. Rather than placing all Category B7 firearms into Category A, the directive will now ban the following types of semi-automatic firearms for civilian ownership:

  • automatic firearms which have been converted into semi-automatic firearms;
     
  • 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 a detachable loading device with a capacity exceeding 20 rounds is inserted into it;
     
  • 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 a detachable loading device with a capacity exceeding 10 rounds is inserted into it;
     
  • 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;

In a press release that accompanied announcement of the agreement, the European Commission lamented that the revised directive does not restrict semi-automatic firearms as they had originally proposed. The European Commission noted,

the Commission regrets that some parts of the original proposal were not supported by the Parliament and the Council. The Commission had proposed a greater level of ambition with a complete ban of the most dangerous semi-automatic firearms, including all semi-automatic firearms of the AK47 or AR15 families and a ban of assault weapons for private collectors. The Commission also regrets that the magazine size was not limited to 10 rounds for all semi-automatic firearms.

This is a welcome departure from how the European Commission’s proposed changes to the European Firearms Directive treated semi-automatic firearms, however, other alarming portions of the initial draft of the changes to the directive appear to be intact.

Among the most onerous of these provisions is one requiring EU states to require firearm license holders to submit to a medical examination as a condition of licensure. Making clear that this provision survived the new compromise, in their summary of the agreement, the European Commission noted that, “In the future, all Member States will have to put in place a system of medical check for the authorisation to acquire firearms.” Other restrictions involving the online acquisition of firearms and ammunition, and information sharing provisions that implicate the privacy rights of European gun owners also remain intact.

Now that a compromise has been reached between the European Parliament and the European Council the next step in the convoluted EU legislative process for the proposed changes to the European Firearms Directive will occur when the European Parliament’s Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection formally approves the text of the legislation, which is set for January. Following this action, the entire European Parliament is set to vote on the legislation in March.

TRENDING NOW
Out of Style: Levi’s Fawns Over Shannon Watts in Pantmaker’s Latest Gun Control Effort

News  

Friday, May 17, 2019

Out of Style: Levi’s Fawns Over Shannon Watts in Pantmaker’s Latest Gun Control Effort

At the National Retail Federation’s 2018 convention in New York City, Levi Strauss & Co. Brand President James Curleigh told those assembled that the multinational pants manufacturer intends to be the “most relevant lifestyle brand.” Evidently, part ...

Trump Administration, Other Pro-Gun Heavyweights Lend Support on Pending Supreme Court Case

News  

Friday, May 17, 2019

Trump Administration, Other Pro-Gun Heavyweights Lend Support on Pending Supreme Court Case

As NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox reported in March, the U.S. Supreme Court has taken up a challenge by an NRA state affiliate to a New York City gun control scheme that effectively prohibits lawfully ...

Hear Ye, Hear Ye, Only What We Want Ye to Hear

News  

Friday, May 17, 2019

Hear Ye, Hear Ye, Only What We Want Ye to Hear

Can we finally put the claim that “gun violence” research is underfunded to rest? The Bloomberg Professor of American Health at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, Daniel Webster, and his colleagues at the Hopkins ...

Gov. Abbott Signs NRA-Backed Tenants' Rights Bill

News  

Friday, May 17, 2019

Gov. Abbott Signs NRA-Backed Tenants' Rights Bill

The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) applauded Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday for signing NRA-backed legislation that protects tenants’ rights by prohibiting “no firearms” clauses in residential leases.   

Retired Justice Stevens Continues Crusade Against Guns

News  

Friday, May 17, 2019

Retired Justice Stevens Continues Crusade Against Guns

Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens does not believe a law-abiding citizen has a right to possess firearms under the Second Amendment, and he wants to make sure everyone knows it. He made his ...

Illinois Committee Passes Bill to Increase Cost of FOID 1000

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Illinois Committee Passes Bill to Increase Cost of FOID 1000

On May 21st, the Illinois state House Judiciary Committee voted 12-7 to pass House Amendment 1 to Senate Bill 1966.  While it has not yet been scheduled for further action, the House may take it ...

California: Firearm Excise Tax Bill Fails to Meet Fiscal Deadline While Other Gun Control Bills Move Forward

Monday, May 20, 2019

California: Firearm Excise Tax Bill Fails to Meet Fiscal Deadline While Other Gun Control Bills Move Forward

Last week, the Assembly and Senate Appropriations Committees took up their respective suspense files ahead of the Friday, May 17, fiscal deadline. Some of the more egregious gun bills failed to meet the deadline including ...

Nevada: Omnibus Anti-Gun Bill Granted Waiver From Deadlines

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Nevada: Omnibus Anti-Gun Bill Granted Waiver From Deadlines

As previously alerted, yesterday was the deadline for legislation to pass out of the policy committee in the second chamber.  A waiver was granted for Assembly Bill 291, exempting the bill from the deadlines.  This waiver ...

Illinois: Committee To Receive FOID Cost Increase Legislation

Friday, May 17, 2019

Illinois: Committee To Receive FOID Cost Increase Legislation

On May 21st, the Illinois state House of Representatives Rules Committee will hear House Amendment 1 to Senate Bill 1966 and send it to the Judiciary Committee for further consideration.  HA 1 to SB 1966 would ...

NRA Supports Guns Save Life's Challenge to Illinois’s FOID Act

News  

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

NRA Supports Guns Save Life's Challenge to Illinois’s FOID Act

NRA is supporting a legal challenge to Illinois's FOID Act brought by Guns Save Life, an organization dedicated to defending the Second Amendment rights of Illinois residents. 

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

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.