As press sources highlight the trilogue stall, the European Commission's position gets weaker day by day – and according to classified intel gathered by the Firearms United network, EC president Juncker seems to be hell-bent to bully the European Council and Parliament into submission
The press release from Firearms United
EUROPEAN FIREARMS DIRECTIVE: FEARING A DEFEAT, THE COMMISSION MOVES ON TO FORCE ITS AGENDA
The compromises reached between Council and Parliament have not impressed the legal gun lobby.
However they have driven the Commission into a corner from which it desperately seeks to escape in order to avoid loss of face and a bruising defeat over its misguided proposal that was not supported by impact assessment studies.
The Commission also produced incorrect gun crime data that has just been contradicted by a TRANSCRIME report funded by the EU: the use of legal firearms in crime throughout the EU is a far cry from the Commission’s claims.
The Juncker cabinet’s strategy is now aimed at the Council, which it expects to call a unanimous vote from all 28 members to approve some compromises that were reached during the trilogues with Parliament.
Its objective is to scrap the agreed text that stands in the way of its proposal for an outright ban on all automatic firearms, including priceless historical pieces owned by recognised collectors, and on civilian semi-automatic AR and AK rifles that are widely used in sport shooting disciplines.
The Commission’s strategy is accompanied by media rhetoric indicating that cabinet is positioning itself to accuse the Parliament and Council that they are irresponsibly risking the security of their citizens by listening to the gun lobby.
The Commission’s obsession with this file endangers historical heritage, private property, sporting disciplines and hundreds of thousands of jobs. Moreover it puts the EU’s future on the line as millions of EU citizens who are law-abiding firearms owners are now at the crossroads of choice to support Eurosceptic parties in upcoming national elections.
The Commission’s obsession with this file endangers historical heritage, private property, sporting disciplines and hundreds of thousands of jobs.
But most of all, it endangers the Civil Rights of the European Citizens.
The fact that the so-called "trilogue" is in a de facto stall is a good thing for as: according to unofficial leaks from the past days some critical points would still be on the table, including certain restrictions on the ownership and use of high-capacity magazines literally copy-pasted from the German gun laws, with very restrictive "exceptions" for "sport shooters.
And yet, this is not enough for the European Commission: as we hinted days ago, the EU gun ban is a purely political matter and the Commission will accept no other outcome than the one officially asked for by Julian King – the new European Commissioner for the Security Union – which either a total ban on "military-lookalike firearms" or a total ban on civilian-grade AR-15 and AK-47 variants.
That's the reason why intelligence sources gathered by the Firearms United network is aiming to ask the 28 Member States – represented by the Council of the European Union – to approve unanimously the compromises reached with the European Parliament even if the trilogue is not yet over.
Should an unanimous vote not be reached, the trilogue would be scrapped and the European Parliament would have to vote for or against the European Commission's own, insanely restrictive proposals instead.
This could take place in the coming days: definitely the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, and his chief of cabinet – Martin Selmayr from Germany, rumored by sources close to the European Parliament, Council, and Commission to be the mastermind behind this move – are aiming to wrap the dossier up before the end of the year 2016.
Should the European Commission's proposal be submitted to the European Parliament for the vote at IMCO in February and at the plenary in March, our world would be at risk: the Members of the European Parliament could be blackmailed into submission by their national governments or their parties, or could just give up resisting after such a long and back-breaking fight.
But as of today, the Commission's insistence is reportedly seen by the European Parliament as a true pain in the neck, and should the Parliament to vote the Commission's proposal, it could be rejected outright, ending the process with a victory for us.
As good as it would be, that's exactly the kind of moral blackmail that the European Commission is threatening: the Commission would blame the Council and the European Parliament for "Putting the European citizens in danger by listening to the gun lobby".
A new, possibly even more restrictive proposal would later be filed and submitted to the Council and Parliament for vote as soon as it gets: maybe in a year or two, much probably as soon as Europe is rocked by a new terrorist attack.
The coverage of the trilogue works by press sources such as EURactiv, Reuters or SAT Press Release seem to suggest that the moral blackmail is already underway: those news outlets are describing the stall by praising the Commission's proposal and demonizing the work of the "evil gun lobby". A typical example of biased press – to use a polite British understatement – which prompted an official response by Tomasz Stępień, President and CEO of Firearms United.
So, what do we do now?
The recently published FIRE! study – financed with 600.000 Euros by the European Union itself and supported by a group of partners which included blatantly anti-gun organizations such as SIPRI – could not come out with different results from those of Firearms United's own researches: in the past four years, in all the 28 Member States of the European Union, only 50% of the 4500 overall gun crimes had lethal consequences; and of all gun murders committed in the EU, 90% were committed with illegal firearms. Accidents account for the vast majority of legal firearm-related deaths.
Those scientifically proven facts prove above and beyond any reasonable doubt that the European Commission's obsession to amend the firearms directive is purely politically motivated and supported only by lies.
All gun owners in Europe, all gun manufacturers, importers and exporters, distributors and retailers, should outright mobilize en masse to achieve the only possible solution: not just a rejection of the Commission's proposal, but also a rejection of any "compromise" solution. Simply put, there is no factual need to amend the European firearms directive.
As much as this expression may sound controversial, to say the least, the digital equivalent of a "march on Brussels" could be the only way out.
Gun owners, gun manufacturers and importers, gun distributors and retailers, should thus massively send E-Mails and make telephone calls all the 751 Members of the European Parliament, their national representatives at the Council of the European Union and their national governments and Ministries of Home Affairs to deliver a final message:
- Given the results of the FIRE! and Transcrime studies – of which a practical summary is also available – there is no need to amend the European firearms directive; nor by the European Commission's will, nor through any "compromise" reached at the so-called "trilogue" – a legislative shortcut whose lack of transparency has been denounced by CEP, EUobserver and the well-known NGO Transparency International, and labeled by the POLITICO magazine as "where European democracy goes to die". The firearms directive is a political tantrum by the European Commission, prompted by some national governments wishing to bypass national democracy, and the European citizens will accept no concession from the Council or the European Parliament if the European Union wants to retain the slightest whiff of credibility.
- Should the European Commission really bully the Council for a vote, the Council should reject the trilogue outcome, but also propose and pass its own motion to reject the European Commission's proposal as well, and any other alternative. Once again: gun owners and business stakeholders must lobby the European Council and Parliament for a total rejection of any amendment to the European firearms directive, making it very clear that the European citizens will not accept to see the Council and Parliament let themselves be bullied into sumbission by the Commission.
- The European Commission, Council and Parliament should be overtly challenged: aren't they able to scrap the dossier outright and come out with a new proposal that specifically aims to curb the illegal market? Should they indeed accept the challenge, they can count of the fact that law-abiding European citizens will support them and that the gun rights groups – who have the only true experts in the field among their ranks – will actively contribute for the sake of a safer Europe. Should the European institutions show themselves capable only of imposing progressively stricter limitations to legal gun ownership, no matter how small or watered-down by "exceptions", the European citizens who wish to uphold their gun rights will be left with no other choice but to massively back anti-EU parties and movements at the upcoming elections that many key Member States will hold in 2017 and 2018,