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S&Ds support compromise to increase security without criminalising legal users of firearms


13 Jul 2016



S&D Euro MPs in the European Parliament's committee on the internal market and consumer protection today backed a compromise to tighten the rules on the acquisition and possession of firearms in the EU, in order to strengthen public security.

S&D Group spokesperson for the file, Italian Euro MP Sergio Cofferati said:
“After a long and difficult negotiation, we managed to get a balanced text approved which improves the current regime and solves many problems of the Commission proposal.
“The purpose of the directive is to improve the security of the general public and not to criminalise the legal users of weapons, such as hunters and sport shooters. We were aware that this proposal has provoked many concerns.  We have negotiated with an open mind. We have listened to all the stakeholders and finally we have found a balanced solution to address their concerns.  
“As Socialists and Democrats, our main concern has been the general public interest – in this case public security.”
S&D Group spokesperson for the committee on the internal market and consumer protection Evelyne Gebhardt MEP added:
”The rules on the use of firearms by civilians needed to be updated in order to strengthen security. We want to avoid the most dangerous weapons falling into the wrong hands. We have the safety of our citizens at heart.”
The main elements of the compromise include:
- Stricter rules for online or distance sales of firearms: authorised brokers and dealers need to verify the identity of purchaser
- Clear and unique marking of firearms and essential components
- Medical tests (physical and psychological) according to national laws could be required before authorisation is granted for the possession of firearms
- All information needed to trace and identify firearms shall be recorded for an indefinite period and made accessible to all authorised authorities
- In future the most dangerous semi-automatic firearms will be defined according to objective criteria (possibility to reduce dimensions and the number of shots available) with an exception for sports shooters
- Museums and collectors will be granted exemptions for the possession of the most dangerous firearms, where they are adapted to storage condition and listed on a national register



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