Terrorists have been able to make use of reconverted weapons but new rules aim to put an end to this. Yesterday the internal market committee approved an update of the EU firearms directive to ensure that any firearm which has been converted to firing blanks continues to be covered by EU law. UK ECR member Vicky Ford, the MEP responsible for steering the new rules through Parliament, said: “The goal of this legislation was to close the loophole that was exploited during the Paris attacks.”
Currently there are various categories of firearms whose sales are not regulated, but that can still be converted for real use. These include deactivated weapons and those used for firing blanks. MEPs want to ensure these are subject to regulation in the future.
At the same time they are careful to include exemptions in the new rules for firearms owned by collectors, museums and sport shooters. “[It] would cause huge concern for how museums work, how traditional hunters and sport shooters and even those doing military re-enactments could work," said Ford.
All MEPs will now vote on the proposal during a plenary session later this year. After that the Parliament can start negotiations with the Council.