The European Parliament Internal Market Committee approved the provisional agreement concluded with the European Council yesterday (Thursday) on the updated European directive on firearms. The agreement in question, in particular, anticipates the prohibition of certain semi-automatic weapons by civilians, and extends the scope of the new regulations to collectors of such weapons.
The revised directive should also allow for better exchange of information between countries, for example upon refusals to grant a weapons licence to a given individual.
This new legislation does not go as far as the European Commission wishes. It is suggesting “complete prohibition of the most dangerous semi-automatic firearms.” The European Executive has not obtained the prohibition of assault rifles for private collectors.
The Commission commenced this reform a few days after the November 2015 Paris attacks, so as to modify legislation going back to the beginning of the 1990s. Such legislation was considered too permissive as regards both the acquisition and possession of weapons.
Within both the European Council and the European Parliament some countries, such as the Czech Republic, pushed for rules which are not too tightened up, whilst others – Luxembourg and France being examples – wanted a more restrictive legislatory framework.
The legislative proposal, approved on Thursday by the European Parliament Internal Market Committee, on the basis of 25 votes in favour, nine against and two abstentions, should be voted upon during a plenary session in March. It will then go before the EU Council of Ministers.