EU introduces stricter checks for firearm licences from next year

Member States will hold systematic exchange of information on granting authorisations

Photo: EU EC's Berlaymont building in Brussels.

The EU executive adopted on Friday new rules on the systematic exchange of information between Member States on refusals to grant authorisations to own a firearm.

According to the Commission, an estimated 30,000 refusals are issued each month within the EU on security grounds.

The newly adopted delegated regulation will enable the relevant national authorities to check, using the Internal Market Information IT System, whether someone applying for a firearm licence has been denied a similar authorisation in another Member State.

This will help stop people from attempting to go around prohibitions from owning a firearm by ‘jurisdiction shopping’.

The Commission also underlines that improving the legal control of firearms is a priority of the EU Action Plan on firearms trafficking for 2020-2025, and the new rules will contribute to protecting Europeans from organised crime and terrorism, in line with the Counter-terrorism Agenda presented in December 2020 and the EU Strategy to tackle organised crime put forward last month.

The new rules will apply as of 31 January next year.

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