BASC welcomes firearms votes in European Committee

BASC has welcomed the recent votes by the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) on the European Commission’s proposed amendments to the Firearms Directive. BASC had previously warned of the unintended consequences of many of the Commission’s proposals which could damage effective risk management in firearms licensing and harm the environmental and economic contribution of shooting without any tangible benefits to public safety.

37,376 emails have been sent by those who shoot in the UK to their MEPs opposing the proposals and other shooting organisations across the European Union have also been lobbying their representatives. BASC has also been working through FACE, the federation of European hunting associations, to ensure that the proposals do not damage shooting.

The LIBE Committee rejected twelve of the Commission’s amendments including the proposed ban on semi-automatic firearms for civilian use, the proposals for a standardised European medical test, a proposed Europe-wide tax on firearms, components and ammunition and the classification of sound moderators as essential parts of a firearm. In particular, they rejected the Commission’s proposals for a maximum life of five years for firearms certificates which would undermine BASC’s calls for a ten year licence, underpinned by better police reporting and medical checks.

Richard Ali, Chief Executive of BASC, said: "The Committee’s votes are the result of some excellent work by MEPs, who have listened to the arguments, and the diligence shown by FACE. This gives the Commission a clear indication that the parliament is not inclined to accept their amendments to the Firearms Directive. The Commission should take stock and amend their proposals in the light of stakeholder and parliamentary concerns. The debate now moves to the Committee on the internal market and consumer protection (IMCO) with final votes expected in the European parliament later this summer.”