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The latest from EU - Sunday 15th May

posted 15 May 2016, 12:12 by Tony Cattermole   [ updated 15 May 2016, 15:54 ]
We are making some progress. However expect that there will be several more drafts to get through yet.

Meanwhile here is a detailed update from the two committees LIBE and IMCO, but with summaries in each case for members ease of reference.

Derek Stimpson

The LIBE committee post vote opinion is attached. This is important because the LIBE vote includes the following amendments which were carried.

I quote Stephen Petroni, the FESAC Chairman:-

Identical Amendments 47-54

Deletion of Commission’s Recital 5:

“(5) Since collectors have been identified as a possible source of traffic of firearms, they should be covered by this Directive.”

(proposed by: Jussi Halla-aho, Richard Sulík, Tomáš Zdechovský, Anders Primdahl Vistisen, Kristina Winberg, Bernd Kölmel, Branislav Škripek, Beatrix von Storch, Hannu Takkula, Miriam Dalli, Juan Fernando López Aguilar, Gérard Deprez, Louis Michel, Frank Engel, Cecilia Wikström, Maite Pagazaurtundúa Ruiz, Fredrick Federley, Dita Charanzová, Petr Ježek, Emil Radev; Nuno Melo, Monika Hohlmeier, Roberta Metsola)

Amendment 113

Reinstatement of collectors’ exemption:

“2. This Directive shall not apply to the acquisition or possession of weapons and ammunition, in accordance with national law, by the armed forces, the police, the public authorities or by collectors and bodies concerned with the cultural and historical aspects of weapons and recognized as such by the Member State in whose territory they are established. Nor shall it apply to commercial transfers of products of the defence industry.

(proposed by Jussi Halla-aho, Richard Sulík, Tomáš Zdechovský, Anders Primdahl Vistisen, Timothy Kirkhope, Kristina Winberg, Nuno Melo, Bernd Kölmel, Branislav Škripek, Beatrix von Storch, Roberta Metsola, Hannu Takkula plus a similar Amendment 115 by Miriam Dalli)

This LIBE vote completely vindicates our position that there is no proof that collectors are a source of trafficking or arms and that in consequence of that they should remain exempt.

We have won our first battle. Let us keep resolute to win the next vote in IMCO.

Next a draft of IMCO’s latest report is attached. It is a considerable improvement and MEP Vicki Ford, the IMCO Rapporteur is to be congratulated. However as members will note there is still much work to be done.

Key points (summarised by David Penn for BSSC) are:

  • Amendment 5 may restrict reloading to RFDs. Not good.
  • Am 9 still sees sales of unusual quantities of ammunition as suspicious. Not good.
  • Am 11 addresses older standard permanent deacts by classing them as replicas.
  • Am 13 covers collectors adequately.
  • Am 17 needs to be watched in terms of ‘good cause’ being applied to shotguns.
  • Am 36 does not address the problem of marking older collectible firearms.
  • Am 43 allows acquisition by under-18s.
  • Am 46 covers the setting up of a monitoring system for certificate holders and requires withdrawal of approval if any of the conditions on the basis of which the certificate was granted are no longer met.
  • Am 48 covers the grant in special cases of authorities for Cat A firearms and ammunition.
  • Am 49 includes possession of Cat A items for historical, cultural, scientific, technical, educational, aesthetic or heritage purposes.
  • Am 52 allows for certificate life beyond five years if continuous monitoring is in place.
  • Am 54 is not good for ammunition collectors. The acquisition and possession of ammunition shall be allowed only by persons who are allowed to possess a firearm.
  • Am 59 covers a review by 31/12/2016 of the new deactivation Regulations.
  • Am 60 covers the sanctioning for sale of deacts done to suitably rigorous national standards.
  • Am 66 is not good news: it sanctions a fee covering the administrative costs of issuing an EFP.
  • Am 67 allows for the mutual recognition of ‘national documents’.
  • Am 73 requires a report on the Directive after two years and every five years thereafter.
  • Am 78 proposes a new entry in Cat B, viz. ‘semi-automatic firearms with detachable magazines.
  • Am 79 proposes another category B entry: ‘semi-automatic firearms with rim-fire percussion calibre .22 or smaller.’ Good news.
  • AM 84 makes it clear that the new deactivation Regulations do not apply retrospectively unless the deact crosses a border into another MS or is placed on the market.
  • Am 85 keeps air weapons and airsofts out of the Directive.
Tony Cattermole,
15 May 2016, 12:12
Tony Cattermole,
15 May 2016, 12:12