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EU Directive - update

posted 27 Jan 2016, 04:19 by Tony Cattermole   [ updated 27 Jan 2016, 04:23 ]
We have received from the FESAC Chairman, Stephen Petroni, a report on the LIBE meeting. FESAC wrote to Rapporteur Bodil Valero and all the MEPs who criticised the Commission proposals, in order to present them with the ESSF Common Position Amendments which it endorses (see below).

Ms Valero and her fellow MEPs gave strong reactions following the Commission’s presentation of the proposed amendments to the Arms Directive.

It was felt that the Commission’s representative, Pierre Delsaux, presented, with some arrogance, much misguided proposals in spite of his own admittance during the IMCO meeting of the 7th December that these will not have any impact on ILLEGAL firearms that are used by terrorists and criminals.

The fact is that the task force that had been set up in 2013 with the aim of closing minor loopholes in the Directive gradually introduced its own agenda targeting lawful owners of firearms. That agenda that came to the fore when the Paris terrorist attacks of 13th November provided the task force with the pretext to submit its proposals to the Commission in the illogical absence of an impact assessment which is vital to determine the huge harm that would befall millions of law-abiding EU citizens.

In seeking to adopt these ill-prepared proposals the Commission is unwittingly undermining its own credibility and citizens’ perception of the EU project. Even more seriously, it is proposing to divert Member States’ valuable resources away from the fight against illicit arms trafficking that supplies terrorist and criminal organisations.

The Arms Directive is not the correct instrument with which to fight terrorism.

However, intervention by Ms Valero and fellow MEPs helped to restore some faith in the EU institutions and it is thanks to her and her fellow speakers from a wide political spectrum, who spoke most objectively. Their arguments against the proposals were made with precision and clarity.

Stephen Petroni, Chairman of FESAC said,
"I have been involved in the drafting and monitoring of sensible and effective firearms legislation at national level for the past thirty years. I have also been an active participant in the drafting of amendments to the EU Directive since 2007 when I was later appointed to the chair of FESAC, a Dutch-based foundation that represents serious European collectors and conservators of firearms. FESAC works closely with museums since we have common objectives. My own experience and FESAC’s collective knowledge of the subject allows me to state unreservedly that we are capable of delivering comprehensive solutions to the Commission if it truly desires to strengthen the Directive without overburdening law-abiding citizens with unnecessary regulations that Member States find difficult and costly to implement.

Over the past weeks FESAC has collaborated with all EU stakeholders whose activity revolves around legal firearm ownership – sport shooters, hunters, traders and manufacturers – in order to draft a Common Position paper recommending amendments to the Commission’s proposals. The result is the attached ESSF document that we endorse and which we propose as a balanced alternative. The Commission’s representative has a different interpretation of the word ‘balanced’ as witnessed yesterday.”

We are grateful to Stephen Petroni and FESAC for all their work on behalf of the shooting and collecting community.

HBSA, BSSC and other UK organisations have provided input as and where appropriate.
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Tony Cattermole,
27 Jan 2016, 04:19