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A proposed new European Union directive of firearms sets out the conditions under which people can lawfully acquire and possess guns or transfer them to another EU country.
However, the provisions have been branded “naive” by the Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) group members of the European Parliament (MEPs).
The ALDE group says it does not agree with the final consensus that has been reached on the directive which is to be voted on in the plenary session of the European Parliament, according to sputniknews.com. They say it will still allow direct online sales of weapons to consumers, and misses the chance to provide clear and harmonized regimes for deactivated firearms.
The group says the proposed directive impacts on millions of legal owners in the EU, such as sport shooters or hunters, instead of tackling illicit arms trafficking.
“If you really aim to tackle illegal arms trafficking in Europe, it is not only naive to allow unrestricted online sales of guns directly to consumers, it is simply irresponsible. That is why we want to limit the online sales to business-to-business transactions only, as initially proposed by the Commission,” said MEP Gerard Deprez.
“The European Parliament has given up too easily on its position. The Directive now misses its principle aim, which was to support the fight against terrorism in Europe. It does not bring any new instruments to effectively do so,” said MEP Dita Charanzova, ALDE spokesperson on the Internal Market.
In November 2015, the Commission proposed a revision of the current EU rules on firearms to make it harder to legally acquire high capacity weapons in the European Union, allow better tracking of legally held firearms thus reducing the risk of diversion into illegal markets, and strengthen cooperation between member states.
The provisional political agreement retains a majority of what the Commission originally proposed, such as the ban of automatic firearms transformed into semi-automatic firearms, the inclusion of collectors and museums in the scope of the directive, the regulation of alarm and acoustic weapons, the regulation of internet sales, the regulation of deactivated weapons and more exchange of information between member states.