Brussels, 1st June 2016 - European Foundation for Freedom together with MEP Janusz Korwin-Mikke ( NI) hosted in the European Parliament an exchange of views with key players and stakeholders entitled ‘’ European Firearms Directive & the Future of Personal Freedoms’’.
The EU Firearms Directive lays down the rules under which private person can acquire and possess weapons, and also governs transfers of firearms to another EU country.
In the light of the terrorist attacks in Europe last year, the European Commission tabled the revised document of this Firearms Directive which proposes stricter rules to ban certain semi-automatic firearms and for the online acquisition of firearms; includes museums and collectors in the scope of the Directive; amends the authorisation conditions for acquiring and possessing a firearm. It also proposes common rules on marking of firearms for traceability purposes and strengthens the exchange of information between Member States. What the European Commission failed to do before proposing all these novelties is a proper impact assessment.
MEP Robert Iwaszkiewicz (EFDD) participated in the exchange of views in his capacity of the shadow rapporteur in the IMCO committee. He stressed the necessity to reject the Commission proposal, both at Committee level and at the plenary session.
The perspective of the non-governmental sector was presented by several Polish representatives: Mr Jaroslaw Lewandowski, President of the Foundation for Shooting Sports Development in Poland, Mr Tomasz W. Stępień, Firearms United Official Representative and Mr Andrzej Leszczyński, Gun TV PL Editor.
They all stated that due to a lack of dialogue with key stakeholders, lack of transparency towards the wide EU audience and lack of argumentation to impose such a restrictive and controversial proposal, and without doing a proper impact assessment - the EC proposal should be at this stage fully rejected.
Although the European Commission aimed to present this revised European Firearms Directive as another tool in the fight against terrorism, in practice it only imposes new limitations to personal freedoms for all EU law abiding citizens.