The Brussels Report


ARMS – More difficult to purchase


On 10 June, the interior ministers of the 28 countries of the EU agreed a negotiated position on the proposal to strengthen controls on the sale of semiautomatic weapons to private customers as well as on the illegal sale of arms. The main issues were the harmonization of regulations on deactivated weapons to prevent their reuse, the introduction of measures to enhance the traceability of weapons, and making the purchase of semi-automatic weapons more difficult (banning those with larger magazines). Exceptions will be made for collectors and museums. The text is the result of compromise that saw pressure applied by the film industry, hunting associations and countries that export weapons, such as the Czech Republic and Poland. Other countries, including Finland, the Baltic countries and Switzerland (not part of the EU), obtained exceptions for sports purposes.  The proposal must still be ratified by the European Parliament, probably within 2016.

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