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EU Parliament. 2007 ‘MEPs to Debate Tightening Gun Laws.’ European Parliament, Justice and Home Affairs; REF.: 20071126STO13628. Brussels: European Parliament. 28 November

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MEPs to Debate Tightening Gun Laws

MEPs Wednesday debate proposals aimed at making it harder to acquire guns in the European Union. Control on internet sales, targeting converted guns and giving greater weight to the European Firearms Pass are among the proposals.

The report, drafted by German Green MEP Gisela Kallenbach follows Commission proposals to update rules agreed in 1991. It would bring EU rules into line with a UN protocol on weapons and takes into account the size of the EU…

The proposals in the report include making it harder to acquire guns by controlling sales over the internet. It also targets arms trafficking: criminal gangs who make and smuggle arms would be covered by the new directive with a stricter definition of what the practice is. Ammunition and gun parts would also be included.

The report calls for each gun to have a proper ID that will record the make, model, calibre, serial number and the names and addresses of those who supply and own such weapons. The report makes the case that more widespread use of "alphanumeric" symbols would improve traceability. It proposes the information be held for the natural working life of a gun - 20 years, up from the 10 years proposed by the Commission.

The focus is on a "European Firearms Pass", which would become the recognised document needed when transporting firearms across borders…

The text being debated Wednesday is a first reading compromise with the Council of Ministers. If approved it will come into force in January 2008 and should be transposed into national legislation by 2010…

ID: Q1345

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