In a hearing held on Thursday 14 April 2016 in the Supreme Court, Chief Justice Mr Anthony Dudley, has decided to make a preliminary reference to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. This is the first time that a court in Gibraltar makes a preliminary reference to the European Court.
The case is brought by members of the Gibraltar Target Shooting Association and raises the issue of the application to Gibraltar of EU Directive 91/477 on firearms. Among other things, the Directive establishes a European Firearms Pass which entitles target shooters and hunters to travel to EU Member States with their firearms. In the past, the European Commission has expressed the view that the Directive does not apply to Gibraltar. The case raises complex questions of EU law, and its applicability to Gibraltar, and this has led to the Chief Justice’s decision to refer questions on the interpretation and validity of EU law to Luxembourg.
The Attorney General, Mr Michael Llamas QC, and Mrs Yvette Sanguinetti of the Government Law Offices appear for the Gibraltar Government. The members of the Shooting Association are represented by Mr Lewis Baglietto QC and Mr Charles Bonfante of Hassans.