The European Union isn’t a hospitable place for gun owners. Sure, some there do own guns and use them for sporting purposes or even self-defense. They’re not outright banned, though the restrictions there sure do make it seem that way.
And amid concerns over black market weapons, they’re going to tighten the laws regarding the transportation of firearms.
The European Union on Thursday moved to tighten laws governing the trade and transport of guns to help keep illicit firearms out of the hands of criminal gangs amid concerns that the war in Ukraine could increase the spread of illegal weapons.
The EU’s executive branch, the European Commission, estimates that around 35 million illicit weapons are in hands of civilians across the 27-nation bloc. Around 630,000 firearms are listed as stolen in the EU’s security and border database.
The commission’s crackdown would involve clearer, common procedures for the import, export and transit of firearms and ammunitions. An electronic licensing system would be set up for import and export applications to replace the slower paper-based systems most countries have.
The commission insists that the measures won’t restrict gun ownership and will actually simplify procedures for hunters, competition shooters and exhibitors.
And yet, they’ll have absolutely no impact on those who trade in illicit guns.
Seriously, does anyone actually think those kinds are filing paperwork in the first place? Of course they’re not. They’re loading crates of guns in trucks and driving them wherever they want to sell them. They’re not jumping through administrative hoops.
Yet for them to cite the war in Ukraine as grounds for concern and to justify this new measure tells me a lot about the European Union’s leadership.
They’re freaking morons.
No, seriously, I get being worried about black market guns coming out of Ukraine. You’ve got two armies from two countries with a long history of corruption. The idea of weapons being funneled out of the warzone and into private, illegal hands isn’t really a shocking possibility to me.
But that they’d really believe that tightening the rules about paperwork would have any kind of impact on criminal behavior is a sign of serious cognitive problems.
I mean, I’d have to think even Joe Biden wouldn’t be so dense, but I’m not putting money on that.
Regardless, don’t expect the illicit flow of weapons into the European Union to slow down in any way, shape, or form.
But also don’t be surprised if it turns out this electronic system gets hacked in such a way that provides seemingly legal cover to illegal arms shipments. That’s the kind of thing some of these operations are fully capable of doing and if I were in their shoes, I’d give it a whirl.
Not that they weren’t already considering some variant of this with hardcopy paperwork as it was.
European officials have a long history of pretending they can just legislate guns out of criminals’ hands. This is just more of the same from them. Don’t expect anything to change over that way.