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Burundi,Africa,Americas,Asia,Europe,Oceania,Belgium,European Union,United States,Russia

Development, Security Require a World Without Small Arms [Fr]

9 August 2011

Pax Christi Wallonie Bruxelles (Brussels)

[Translated summary: In Burundi, the authorities spend each year an average of 5 dollars per person for health care. Each gun injury costs 163 dollars to the health care system. Three quarters of the global budget for health care is thus spent on these injuries!] Au Burundi, les autorités consacrent en moyenne 5 dollars par habitant aux soins de santé chaque année. Chaque blessure causée par une arme à feu coûte 163 dollars au système des soins de santé. Trois... (

Read More: Pax Christi Wallonie Bruxelles (Brussels)



Would Belgian Gun Law Prevent a Norway-style Shooting? [Fr]

26 July 2011

RTBF (Belgium)

[Translated summary: Lawfully acquire a weapon of war in order to commit a massacre as in Norway raises questions. Would the new Belgian legislation on firearms have prevented such tragedy for us?] Se procurer une arme de guerre en toute légalité pour commettre un massacre comme en Norvège, pose question. La nouvelle législation belge sur les armes aurait-elle permis d'éviter un tel drame chez nous ? Les conditions de base La majorité des clients des armureries... (

Read More: RTBF (Belgium)



Debate on Walloon Law Could Regulate Belgium's Arms Exports [Fr]

1 June 2011

La Libre (Brussels), Opinion

[Translated summary: The Walloon regional government of Belgium is reviewing its licensing procedure for weapon exports, including small arms, which should lead to the adoption of a Walloon decree. In this Op-ed RAIAL, a group of NGOs, states the case for better control of the Belgian arms trade]. Loin d'être remarquable, la dernière mouture de la procédure d'octroi des licences d'exportation d'armes proposerait davantage de garanties. Mais au nom des intérêts... (

Read More: La Libre (Brussels)



European Countries Tighten Gun Laws But More Needed, Say Experts

12 March 2009

Associated Press

School shootings and other gun crimes have spurred European governments to tighten their gun laws but the measures have been uneven across the continent, experts said Thursday. Dramatic incidents, such as Wednesday's rampage by a 17-year-old gunman who killed 15 people at his former school in Germany, often jolt authorities into action. Finland announced plans Wednesday to impose stricter restrictions on firearms, including raising the minimum age for handgun... (

Read More: Associated Press



Europe Hurries to Tighten Gun Laws After Mass Shooting Attacks

11 March 2009

Associated Press

HELSINKI — Several European countries have restricted gun laws in the wake of school massacres, gang violence and other gun-related crimes: - Finland announced plans Wednesday to impose stricter restrictions on firearms, including raising the minimum age for handgun ownership from 15 to 20. The proposal was prompted by two school massacres within a year in which lone gunmen opened fire on classmates and teachers. - Germany, where a gunman killed at least 11 people... (

Read More: Associated Press


United Nations,Finland,New Zealand,United States,Australia,Canada,France,Belgium,Sweden,Switzerland,South Africa,Austria,Israel,Brazil,Germany

Comparison of Key Handgun Restrictions in 14 Industrialised Countries

25 September 2008


Finland's government is introducing tougher regulations on handguns following a mass shooting at a school on Tuesday September 23rd, the second in under a year. The country had been among the most lenient in the world, allowing 15-year-olds to keep a handgun under parental supervision, requiring no medical or psychological tests and no minimum wait for those buying weapons. The gun-death rate (whether murder, accident or suicide) in rich countries is highest where... (

Read More: Economist



Antwerp Continues City-wide Ban on Gun, Weapon Display in Shop Windows

17 July 2007

Expatica (Brussels)

ANTWERP — The Antwerp gun shop owner Lang, where Hans Van Themsche bought a gun last year, is protesting the city's decision to ban the display of all weapons in shop windows from now on. The city hopes the measure will discourage people from buying weapons on impulse, but the gun dealer thinks it is excessive interference in his normal way of conducting business. The ban affects all firearms, replica weapons, daggers, bludgeons, switchblades or depictions of these... (

Read More: Expatica (Brussels)



New Law Sees 70,000 Belgian Guns Seized for Destruction, 1.5 Million to Go

10 May 2007

Expatica (Brussels)

BRUSSELS — It has been a year since the new weapon law was introduced and only 10 percent of the guns in Belgium have surfaced. In addition provincial services that grant permits are busier than ever with applications. Parliament approved a new weapon law after the shooting of a nanny, toddler and other woman on the street in Antwerp by Hans Van Themsche on 11 May 2006. All firearms are banned unless a permit is obtained from the provincial governor. In the past... (

Read More: Expatica (Brussels)



Tightened Gun Controls Remain Controversial in Switzerland and Belgium

27 September 2006


Parliament has been discussing changes to Swiss gun laws exactly five years after the country's worst shooting incident. But observers warn the changes, which will bring Switzerland in line with European Union guidelines and which were approved by the Senate in June, are unlikely to prevent future gun attacks. The EU's Schengen accord on cross-border crime lays down minimum requirements for acquiring and possessing firearms. Swiss voters agreed to sign up to the... (

Read More: SwissInfo



Belgian Gun Owners Launch Legal Battle Against Tighter Firearms Law

24 July 2006

Expatica (Brussels)

BRUSSELS — The union of gun owners UNACT is taking legal action in the Arbitration Tribunal against the federal government's recently imposed tighter gun control law. UNACT claims the new law undermines the legal certainty of gun owners and traders. Some 10,000 gun owners have signed a petition demanding the abolition of part of the new legislation, VRT reported on Monday. The new weapons law was introduced on 8 June in response to the racist shootings in Antwerp... (

Read More: Expatica (Brussels)



East Timor Politician Imported Guns, Ammunition to Equip Private Army

19 June 2006

Sydney Morning Herald

DILI — New details have emerged about an East Timorese Government minister's efforts to turn police into a private army for the ruling Fretilin party and arm civilian hit squads to cow voters and rivals before next year's elections. The former interior minister, Rogerio Lobato, arranged to secretly import high-powered weapons for the East Timor National Police, who are responsible to the Interior Ministry, on a visit to Kuwait with the Prime Minister, Mari Alkatiri,... (

Read More: Sydney Morning Herald



New Belgian Gun Law Imposes 3-mth Licensing Delay, Raises Penalties

8 June 2006

Expatica (Brussels)

BRUSSELS — Tighter gun control legislation comes into force on Friday following its accelerated passing through the Belgian Parliament after the Antwerp racist murders. "From tomorrow, no single weapon will be free to purchase," Justice Minister Laurette Onkelinx said on Thursday. It means simply being an adult and showing ID will not be deemed sufficient in future. Instead, potential gun owners will undergo a three-month practical and theoretical procedure coupled... (

Read More: Expatica (Brussels)



Rush to Buy Firearms in Belgium as Retrospective Gun Control Law Looms

26 May 2006

Expatica (Brussels)

BRUSSELS — Weapons traders in Belgium have reported a strong rise in sales since debate opened up around tighter gun control laws. Hunting and sports weapons can currently be bought across the counter without a licence on proof of identification. After the person's details are registered, the buyer can take the gun home. But new legislation — which has been approved in record tempo after the racist shootings in Antwerp on 11 May — will impose tighter... (

Read More: Expatica (Brussels)



Racial Murders in Belgium Expose Danger of Instant Gun Purchases

21 May 2006

Miami Herald / Washington Post Service

ANTWERP, Belgium — When 18-year-old Hans Van Themsche was expelled from his boarding school dormitory for smoking, police officials here say, it pushed him over some existential edge. He shaved his head, bought a Winchester hunting rifle, put on a black leather trench coat and wrote a note saying he was going to kill foreigners. Then he went on a shooting rampage in the narrow cobblestone streets of this ancient port city. First he shot and critically wounded a... (

Read More: Miami Herald / Washington Post Service



Following Shooting, Belgian MPs Instantly Approve Tighter Gun Control Laws

19 May 2006

Expatica (Brussels)

BRUSSELS — MPs in the Belgian Parliament voted almost unanimously in favour on Thursday night of new tighter gun control laws. Only Liberal MR MPs Philippe Monfils and Robert Denis abstained from voting, claiming that the legislation was being passed too swiftly. Given the fact that Senate is expected to pass the proposed legislation as well, the new regulations could be in force within two weeks. The law will change existing regulations in which any adult with... (

Read More: Expatica (Brussels)



To Curb Gun Rush, Mayor Says New Belgian Gun Law Must Be Retroactive

15 May 2006

Expatica (Brussels)

BRUSSELS — The Antwerp Mayor has proposed implementing tighter gun control laws with a retroactive effect. Patrick Janssens also urged politicians to quickly process the proposed legislation, but also stressed that this would not be entirely satisfactory. "Weapons traders know that the law will be tightened. Interested buyers also know that they will soon need to display a hunters licence or a sporting shooters permit for a sporting of hunting rifle which are... (

Read More: Expatica (Brussels)



Belgian PM Urges Quick Revamp of Gun Legislation Following Shooting

13 May 2006


BRUSSELS — The legislative proposal aimed at tightening Belgium's gun legislation will undergo an accelerated debate following the Antwerp shooting incident on Thursday, the chairwoman of the parliament's justice commission said Friday. Martine Taelman made the promise in response to an urgent request from Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt on Friday. The prime minister called for a quick conclusion to the currentdiscussion at the parliamentary justice commission... (

Read More: Xinhua



Racial Killing With Legal Gun Reignites Gun Control Debate in Belgium

12 May 2006

Euro News

Dignitaries nationwide including the King and Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt have expressed deep shock: "We must not let society be sucked into a spiral of violence and hatred," said Verhofstadt. "Our society has always been one of tolerance and things must remain that way." Far-right leaflets were found in the long black coat worn by the gunman, who came from a staunchly radical background — his grandfather fought alongside the Nazis and his aunt is a prominent... (

Read More: Euro News


Belgium,United States

Belgian Professor's 'Safe Gun' a Contradiction in Terms: Look at America

13 April 2006

Expatica (Brussels), Editorial

A quick grammar lesson. My dictionary defines the word 'oxymoron' as a "figure of speech with pointed conjunction of seemingly contradictory expressions." If that seems just a bit too technical, how about the following phrase as an easy-to-grasp example: "safe gun". Guns are by definition dangerous, nasty things that have one sole purpose. They kill things. And a lot of the time the things they kill are people. They are not, and they never can be, safe. Yet earlier... (

Read More: Expatica (Brussels)



Flemish Gunmakers Made, Exported More Arms Than Walloon [Fr]

24 February 2006

La Libre Belgique (Brussels)

[Translated summary: Latest figures show Flemish gunmakers now surpass the output of Walloon, manufacturing €413m total value, of which €313m was for export]. En 2004, en Wallonie, les licences octroyées pèsent 413 millions et les exportations atteignent 313 millions. Désormais, c'est moins qu'en Flandre. C'est la première année civile complète d'obédience régionale sur ce secteur toujours ultra-sensible, à la lisière des soucis éthiques et... (

Read More: La Libre Belgique (Brussels)