15. 03. 2017 15:02
Europe's parliament has agreed to strengthen gun laws throughout the EU, following heated talks in Strasbourg on Tuesday (14 March) and disagreements between MEPs. "Some people [MEPs] have clearly not read the text properly," said UK MEP Vicky Ford at a press conference following the decision. The British MEP said the text agreed upon on Tuesday means anyone who currently owns a firearm will be allowed to keep it "provided their member state agrees." European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: "We have fought hard for an ambitious deal that reduces the risk of shootings in schools, summer camps or terrorist attacks with legally held firearms. Of course we would have liked to go further, but I am confident that the current agreement represents a milestone in gun control in the EU." The European Commission proposed to reform the firearms directive in November 2015 in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris, whereby terrorists used two Česká Sa vz. 58 automatic rifles which were decommissioned and legally bought in Slovakia, but were then modified to fire live ammunition. In 2013, Slovak police issued warnings against the ease of modifying such rifles but the warnings fell on deaf ears, until the attacks in Paris. The most significant restrictions on firearms will include a ban on decommissioned "expansion" weapons, with possession only allowed in selected cases, limiting semi-automatic rifle magazines to a maximum of 10 rounds, and reducing the validity of firearms licences from ten years down to five.