BASC statement on the reopening of the European Firearms Directive

The news that the European Council has recommended that the European Commission should revise the Firearms Directive makes the reopening of the Directive almost a certainty.

The European Council wishes to strengthen the means for fighting firearms trafficking. The Directive is likely to be revised at the beginning of 2016 at the latest. In addition, in a press release the European Council called on Europol to “closely monitor the threat posed by firearms” and for the Commission to submit a strong minimum standard for the deactivation of firearms by the end of the year.

BASC Council member Peter Glenser, a barrister practicing in this area of the law, said; “BASC supports efforts to combat illegal trafficking of firearms, but this is a complex area of the law. The danger of reopening the directive is that amendments could be moved that would be damaging to legitimate shooting sports. These can be malicious and sponsored by those who wish to damage shooting. There can also be proposals which, through ignorance, damage legitimate shooting while trying to improve the law. BASC will be vigilant and ensure that legitimate shooting in the UK is not damaged by this move.”

Bill Harriman, Director of Firearms at BASC said; “BASC will be working closely with FACE, the association of European shooting organisations, on every aspect of the reopening of the directive. As the only expert UK firearms team in a representative association, we have the expertise and the knowledge to comment on both illegal use of firearms and the appropriate standards for deactivation.”