Gun Control, Identity, and the EU's Post-Paris Response

Gregory Barnes

Name: Greg BarnesInstitution: The University of LeedsAddress: 15 Towler Drive, Rodley, Leeds. LS13 1PBEmail: events unfolded in Paris twice during 2015. Firstly at the offices of 'Charlie Hebdo' and then at the 'Bataclan' venue. The Commission's response was to fast track the proposed revisions to 91/477/EEC and 2008/51/EC on the 'control and acquisition of weapons' within the EU. The proposed directive significantly changes the gun platforms available for sale in the member states, and tradeable between states. This has the effect of removing several classes of firearm from the market, and consequently the activities and sports associated with them.While much attention is given to the legislative and legal frameworks for the supply and ownership of firearms, less is given to the ideational role of markets, culture, and identity in the European context. There are specific national identities supported by the ownership of firearms which may be challenged by increased EU regulation.This paper critically examines the proposed directive, the consequent changes to the market for firearms in the EU, and the interface between the national markets for firearms once the new overarching framework has been implemented. Distinct to this approach is the examination of the ideational role that firearms, the market for firearms, and the projection of a performative vision of firearm ownership. The analysis will be based within a comparative capitalism framework that references the role of cultural and ideational factors in the creation of markets.

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