EU strengthens control of the acquisition and possession of firearms


25-Apr-2017
On 25 April 2017, the Council adopted a directive on control of the acquisition and possession of weapons, which revises and complements existing directive. The amendments address risks for public safety and security, and focus on enhanced traceability of firearms, stricter rules for the acquisition and possession of the most dangerous firearms and banning civilian use of the most dangerous semi-automatic firearms among others.

According to Carmelo Abela, Maltese Minister for Home Affairs and National Security: “The new Firearms Directive provides for more rigorous controls on the acquisition and possession of firearms, in particular so that legitimate channels and regulatory set-ups for the acquisition and possession of firearms are not abused by criminal groups or terrorists. The directive is therefore an important step forward, particularly since it balances security concerns with the need to preserve legitimate activities. It is however, vital for the EU and its member states to continue working towards shutting off illegal channels for the acquisition of firearms by criminal groups and terrorists.”​