30th March 2016
South West MEP and Conservative Leader Ashley Fox has met with members of the Greensleeves Shooting Club in Bishop’s Cleeve near Tewkesbury to discuss changes to European gun laws.
The changes follow the 2015 Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris, where some of the firearms used by terrorists had been legally purchased as converted 'blankfiring' acoustic weapons without requiring a license. The guns, having been legally acquired, were then converted back into live prohibited firearms.
It was in this context that the European Commission launched its review of the Firearms Directive, which has been in place since 1991. However, many stakeholders including museums, sporting organisations and groups such as the Countryside Alliance, immediately expressed concerns about inadequate drafting and unintended consequences.
Mr Fox said, “What we need are laws that thwart the terrorist and curtail the criminal. I do not want to penalise lawful ownership and use. We don’t need a reminder, but if one was needed, then the terrible events in Brussels last week shows we need laws that are robust and proportionate.”
Welcoming the review is the Conservative candidate for Gloucestershire Police and Crime Commissioner, Will Windsor-Clive, he said, “Britain already has some of the strictest gun laws in Europe particularly when it comes to deactivation. What both Ashley and I would like to see is our gold standard applied across all member states to help thwart the cross border trade in weapons.”