With the final text of the revised EU firearms directive published on the Official Journal of the European Union, the fight goes on at a national level to ensure non-restrictive implementation!
More than two months after its approval at the European Parliament, the new and revised version of the European firearms directive – now officially called the Directive (EU) 2017/853 – has been published on 5/24/2017 on the Official Journal of the European Union.
This was the final necessary step to pave the way towards application: the new firearms directive will be effective starting June 13th, 2017, and Member States will have to implement it in their national laws before September 13, 2018.
A number of EU Regulations the new directive refers to, however, have not been finalized so far. These include the regulations concerning the new marking requirements for firearms; technical manufacturing requirements for blank firing and alarm guns; and a revised version of the firearm deactivation guidelines that shall partially correct the mess caused by the current guidelines, which were published hastily by the European Commission in late 2015.
A new battle begins
« Our collective effort knocked the teeth out of the Commission's 'ambitious plan', which would have resulted in the confiscation and destruction of all automatic firearms and or most semi-automatic firearms,» writes Stephen A. Petroni, chairman of the Foundation for European Societies of Arms Collectors (FESAC).
« The coming 15 months will be critical. Our colleagues in every Member State will be fighting to ensure that their authorities stick to the bare minimum of restrictions introduced in the Directive revision.»
A new front opens in the fight for gun rights in Europe, as the approved text has been clearly and openly written in order to provide the Member States that most lobbied for it with a backdoor allowing a broad ban on certain types of firearms, while at the same times leaving more freedom to those Countries that will refuse to tread on the rights of their most law-abiding citizens.
And as a matter of fact, danger is close for the gun owners living in those Countries that have shown the strongest support for what is now infamously known as the EU Gun Ban.
The Firearms United network warns about the new Decree 2017-909, written in France by the outgoing Hollande administration and published on May 9, that mandates confiscation without compensation or deactivation for all legally-owned demilitarized beltfed firearms.
And rumors have reached the same network about a new decree soon to be published in France, this time covering demilitarized assault rifles if not all variants of the AR-15 and AK-47 rifle platforms.
Once again, it's not a case: France was one of the first and strongest supporters of the EU Gun Ban, and it is currently banding up with Germany and the Netherlands to stop its shooters from taking part to the 2017 IPSC Rifle World Shoot in Russia with their own guns.
It is thus necessary for gun owners, hunters, sport shooters, arms collectors and all those European citizens who value individual rights to support those organizations that will fight for a fair implementation in every Member State.
Since the vast majority of European Countries already have laws that are more restrictive than the text as approved by the European Parliament, implementation can be achieved that will safeguard the Status Quo.
Anti-gun politicians and bureaucrats must be stopped from taking the new directive as an advantage to pass even more restrictions.
At the same time, it has been confirmed that the new European firearms directive will be challenged against in court. The government of Czech Republic had already announced their intentions back in February, and is now working to bring the case in front of the European Court of Justice.
Grounds from the lawsuit range from breach of REFIT rules to lack of a mandatory impact assessment, to violation of proportionality and subsidiarity rules, as well as a wide range of other procedural irregularities, including the submission of forged data in support of the proposal by several bodies of the EU, including EESC and the very same European Commission.
As usual, more news will be published as soon as they'll become available, so keep following GUNSweek.com for updates!