In light of the recent attacks in Paris, European ministers met in Brussels on Friday to establish new gun control measures to include a ban on semi-auto firearms.
Just a week after a series of terrorist attacks in the French capital that claimed the lives of more than 120, the members of the European Union stepped up implementation of a sweeping draft proposal introduced after April’s attack on the Charlie Hebdo newspaper.
“The recent terrorist attacks on Europe’s people and values were coordinated across borders, showing that we must work together to resist these threats,” said EC President Jean-Claude Juncker in a statement. “Today’s proposal, prepared jointly by Commissioners Elżbieta Bieńkowska and Dimitris Avramopoulos, will help us tackle the threat of weapons falling into the hands of terrorists. Organised criminals accessing and trading military grade firearms in Europe cannot and will not be tolerated.”
Inside the 28 member states of the EU there are currently four classifications of firearms.
The first, full-auto, and military style semi-auto firearms, are forbidden from civilian ownership unless they have been deactivated. The second, which includes many sporting semi-auto firearms, are allowed with special permits though some countries such as Great Britain also ban these. The third and fourth types are repeaters such as pump-action and other firearms.
Under the new guidelines, civilian ownership of any former select-fire or semi-auto military or military-style firearm, even if it had been demilled or deactivated, would be prohibited. Next, the second category of currently allowed semi-autos…