Firearms collectors aren’t terrorists, says MEP Roberta Metsola
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"Firearms collectors are not terrorists; the EU should not confuse the two," said MEP Roberta Metsola.
Member of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola has called for new laws governing firearms to ensure controls but not to affect bona fide collectors, museums or enthusiasts, saying that a "common sense approach" is needed.
"Genuine collectors should not be the target in some half-baked measures to try to give the impression of action. Our focus must remain on fighting terrorism and ensuring that the illegal firearms trade is tackled."
"Yes, we need to ensure traceability and we must have proper controls over who purchases firearms, but let us not link our response to acts of terror with collectors. The two are distinct and require two distinct approaches," said Dr Metsola adding that she has put forward amendments to that effect.
Addressing a meeting in the European Parliament today, Roberta Metsola said: "The rapporteur's approach on this draft report is a step in the right direction. We need to move away excessive bureaucracy and not create unrealistic expectations."
Dr Metsola went on to say that the draft report can be improved further, but stressed that the EU does not need to re-invent the wheel, since a number of Member States already have controls on firearms, while at the same time still being balanced in their approach. She said that in this respect "Malta is a good example. The Maltese firearms legislation could help us fine-tune the text of this proposal."
"I have been in close contact with relevant stakeholders in Malta and Gozo and a number of organisations and individuals have invested a lot of energy and funds into preserving the historical integrity and authenticity of firearms, and this also needs to be respected, particularly when the firearms are no longer active," added Roberta Metsola
Dr Roberta Metsola is a member of the European Parliament Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) and the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE), where the legislation is being debated.