Saturday, 19 August 2017

Czechs may not transpose in time EU arms directive if needed

ČTK |
11 August 2017

Prague, Aug 10 (CTK) - The Czech Republic would not manage transposing EU firearms directive by September 2018 when the introduction deadline expires if it had to adopt it as this would require changes to legislation or a new one that could only take effect in mid-2019, says a document CTK has gained.

The analysis was worked out by the Interior Ministry which sent it to other ministries for comments now.

The government might debate the 150-page analysis in September.

The document analyses the steps the Czech Republic would have to take if it had to adopt the directive against which it has complained with the EU Court of Justice on Wednesday.

The analysis counts with the creation of a new law on firearms and ammunition and an accompanying legislation introducing changes to other existing laws.

The Interior Ministry's experts would also like to draft an entirely new law on handling firearms for civil defence and security purposes.

"The proposed legislation will consistently rule out any possibility of establishing outside law entities that would claim a share in ensuring security," the analysis says.

The law should avert the emergence of various home defence organisations, neighbour patrols or militia which the valid legislation does not deal with in any particular way.

Milena Backovska, from the Interior Ministry's security policy department, said experts would like the directive to be transposed, if necessary, in a way that would have the lowest possible impact on firearm licence holders.

Experts say the loopholes in the directive allow its varied interpretation.

"We do not anticipate at all stripping anyone of firearms," Backovska told CTK.

She said the possible introduction of the directive should have mainly administrative impacts on the firearm licence owners, for instance, the time of validity of the licences will have to be cut from ten to five years.

The directive tightening the control of firearms has come under strong criticism in the Czech Republic.

The changes would affect almost all 300,000 holders of firearm licences as well as the owners of deactivated weapons and magazines which are not registered now.

According to the EU directive, replicas of historical weapons should also be registered.

The directive completely bans semi-automatic firearms adjusted from automatic ones, semi-automatic firearms fitted with a telescopic butt according to the capacity of the magazine inserted in them.

In its complaint, the Czech Republic demands the invalidating of the directive. It has also sent to the court a draft injunction postponing the validity of the directive.

ms/dr/hol

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