Tuesday

29th Sep 2020

EU to restrict buying of semi-automatic guns

  • EU plans to introduce tougher gun control laws to foil terrorist attacks (Photo: Reuters)

EU interior ministers agreed on Friday (10 June) to tighten gun control rules in the aftermath of the Paris and Brussels terror attacks.

The proposal, which still needs to be ratified by the European Parliament, includes an EU-wide regime on deactivated firearms.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

  • Gunshop in Prague. the Czech Republic has more liberal gun control laws than the average EU country (Photo: Peter Teffer)

Deactivated arms can be restored for use by criminals, but some member states had said the new requirements would harm collectors and hunters.

The new rules aim to make it easier to track down illegal guns and make it harder to buy semi-automatic rifles.

Some states wanted to ban civilians from owning the most lethal models of semi-automatic rifles, but the bill includes multiple exceptions for museums and target shooters.

The Paris attackers killed dozens of people using these types of guns.

But the European Commission’s original text was watered down by countries including the Czech Republic, which favoured liberal gun laws, and Finland, which has civilian militias.

Switzerland, which is not an EU member but which cooperates with the EU on security issues, also favoured liberal laws.

The minister from Luxembourg, where the EU meeting was held on Friday, said the bill is full of loopholes.

The Dutch security and justice minister Ard van der Steur, speaking for the Dutch EU presidency, said: "We struck the right balance between improving security for EU citizens and [protecting] the internal market for firearms”.

EU home affairs commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said: "Some member states are not very happy with this directive, but the majority [of member states] agreed”.

EU reconsiders anti-terrorism response

An emergency meeting of interior ministers could take place Thursday. But border security, use of databases and EU cooperation were already on the table last autumn.

EU lawmakers tighten firearm rules

The EU parliament backed a provisional deal with member states to tighten EU gun laws. EU states now have to formally adopt their position before the new legislation is enacted.

Feature

'Flobert' guns - Europe's latest terror loophole

Project Safte, an international research project funded by the European Commission, has revealed a loophole in the EU firearms directive that is being exploited by criminals and possibly terrorists.

EUobserver under attack in wider battle for EU free press

If EU citizens want to know the truth, then journalists need protection from malicious litigation, as EUobserver joined the list of targets, over an article about the late Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council meets Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tichanovskaja
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region to invest DKK 250 million in green digitalised business sector
  3. UNESDAReducing packaging waste – a huge opportunity for circularity
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCOVID-19 halts the 72nd Session of the Nordic Council in Iceland
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersCivil society a key player in integration
  6. UNESDANext generation Europe should be green and circular

Latest News

  1. Caucasus warfare prompts EU alarm
  2. Summit reloaded and last Brexit round This WEEK
  3. EU denies 'clandestine' mission on Venezuela election date
  4. Between the lines, Europe's new Moria unfolds
  5. Now's the time to give QMV a chance in EU foreign policy
  6. European hiccups on the way to West Africa
  7. Berlin repeats support for EU human rights sanctions
  8. China's carbon pledge at UN sends 'clear message' to US

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us