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Commission welcomes Parliament agreement to strengthen gun control in the European Union
Commission Européenne - IP/07/1813 29/11/2007
Brussels, 29th November 2007
The fight against criminality and firearms trafficking will be reinforced at EU level in the future after the approval by the European Parliament of the European Commission’s proposal at first reading today. The new measures will make proper and complete marking of firearms compulsory. It will extend the duration for record-keeping for data on firearms and ban the purchase of firearms by persons less than eighteen years old. Moreover, the amendments adopted by the European Parliament after an intense dialogue with the Council and the Commission will ensure that traceability for all firearms will be strengthened and rules for the acquisition and possession of firearms will be more rigorous. These requirements will also apply to converted firearms.. The measures will also align the pre-existing directive 91/477 on firearms with the so-called “United Nations Firearms Protocol” to which the Community acceded in 2001, opening the way towards its ratification.
Commission Vice-President Günter Verheugen responsible for enterprise and industry policy said: “Today's Parliamentary agreement provides better protection for European citizens against an uncontrolled circulation of firearms, by beefing up our r tracing systems and requirements, notably as regards minors. Recent dramatic events have shown just how necessary it is to have better control the purchase and circulation of arms. . I warmly welcome the way the European Parliament has addressed these challenges in close cooperation with the Council and the Commission. ”
The directive aims to complete the existing Directive 91/477/EC which was an accompanying measure of the Internal Market. The revised Directive will create a balance between a certain freedom of movement for civil firearms within the EU and the need to control and trace their circulation. The main elements are as follows:
The proposal will now go to the Council of Ministers for final approval.