European Union moves to restrict terrorist access to guns

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European Union moves to restrict terrorist access to guns

The European Union is taking a big step on new laws to prevent terrorists access to firearms. Expedited plans come in the wake of recent attacks claimed by ISIL in Brussels and Paris.

CGTN’s Jack Parrock reports.

European Union moves to restrict terrorist access to guns

European Union moves to restrict terrorist access to guns

The European Union is taking a big step on new laws to prevent terrorists access to firearms. Expedited plans come in the wake of recent attacks claimed by ISIL in Brussels and Paris. CGTN's Jack Parrock reports.

Weapons which shoot blanks were reconditioned to fire live rounds during the Paris attacks of November 2015. This is why members of a European Parliament committee have voted in favor of changing EU law so these weapons will be registered and licensed.

“On the whole this is a package that I believe sorts out the security issue, but also works for the hunters, for the shooters, for the museums, for the military reenactors, and for all those legal owners.” Vicky Ford, the Rapporteur of Firearms Directive said.

A complicated wrangle over this directive is with EU member states that have comprehensive firearms laws, but oppose overarching EU legislation.

The parts of the original proposal went much further by decreasing the size of ammunition magazines and completely banning the most deadly semi-automatic weapons.

The decision not to take on those measures has been criticized as many of the the weapons used in terror attacks were semi-automatics able to inflict maximum casualties.

Some MEPs believe further weapons restrictions won’t stop terrorism. Mylene Trosczynski, MEP for the French Front National, states “people who get hold of a weapon in a legal manner in their country, are not the people who are going to commit a terrorist act.” said.

Belgium has less restrictive firearms laws than other EU member states, which is why many weapons used in terror attacks have been traced to Brussels.

The new directive now heads for full approval by the European Parliament.