EU gun law updated to close security loopholes while protecting legitimate users 

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The provisional deal with the Council on the updated EU firearms directive was endorsed by Parliament’s Internal Market Committee on Thursday by 25 votes to nine, with two abstentions. The revised law tightens the controls on blank firing and inadequately deactivated weapons like those used in the Paris terror attacks. It also requires EU countries to have a monitoring system in place for the issuance or renewal of licences and to exchange information with one another.

Vicky Ford (ECR, UK), who is steering this legislation through Parliament, said: “We have produced a package of proposals that is workable for sport shooters, hunters, reservists, collectors, re-enactors and others. It is one which keeps the balance between the interests of those legitimate gun owners but also the public interest in a more secure Europe”.

The EU firearms directive sets out the conditions under which private persons may lawfully acquire and possess guns or transfer them to another EU country.

You can find more information on the revised directive in this background note.

Next steps

The draft law is due to be voted by the full Parliament in March (tbc) and then formally approved by the EU Council of Ministers. The provisional deal has already been confirmed by the EU member states’ permanent representatives (COREPER) on 20 December 2016.

Member states will have 15 months from the date of entry into force of the directive to transpose the new rules into national law and 30 months to introduce new systems for sharing of information on firearms.