Friday

15th Nov 2019

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 year's of archives. 30-day free trial.

... or join 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.

News in Brief

  1. Hungary's Varhelyi will face more questions
  2. Police put former Berlusconi MEP Comi under house arrest
  3. MEPs criticise Poland for criminalising sex education
  4. UK will not name new commissioner before election
  5. Trump expected to delay EU car tariff decision
  6. Tusk: Post-Brexit UK will be a 'second-rate player'
  7. Police end Catalan separatist blockade of France-Spain road
  8. Poland arrests extremists for 'planning attacks on Muslims'

Stalling on VAT reform costing billions, says Commission

German media outlet Correctiv, along with other newsrooms, have revealed how criminals annually cheat EU states out of billions in VAT fraud. The EU Commission says solutions exist - but member states refuse to budge on tax unanimity.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersEarmarked paternity leave – an effective way to change norms
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Climate Action Weeks in December
  3. UNESDAUNESDA welcomes Nicholas Hodac as new Director General
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersBrussels welcomes Nordic culture
  5. UNESDAUNESDA appoints Nicholas Hodac as Director General
  6. UNESDASoft drinks industry co-signs Circular Plastics Alliance Declaration
  7. FEANIEngineers Europe Advisory Group: Building the engineers of the future
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNew programme studies infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance
  9. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  10. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021

Latest News

  1. Green MEPs unconvinced by Romanian commissioner
  2. EU states fell short on sharing refugees, say auditors
  3. Hungary's commissioner-to-be grilled over loyalty to Orban
  4. Widow's plea as EU diplomats debate Magnitsky Act
  5. Leftist MEPs call on EU to address crisis in Chile
  6. Mustard gas and cod: Last chance to stop Nord Stream 2?
  7. Cultural Battlefield
  8. Nationalists as much a threat to EU arts as resources

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us