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FREE MOVEMENT OF GOODS: NO IMMINENT CHANGE IN FIREARMS REGULATIONS.

The majority of the Member States consider that the European card for the possession of firearms, provided for in the 1991 Directive, could be the single document accompanying transfers of firearms between Member States, provided that the licences authorising possession are obtained in accordance with a standardised procedure which guarantees a high level of security. For now, the absence of a network for the exchange of information on national firearm classification categories (prohibited, requiring authorisation, requiring declaration, unrestricted) makes it difficult to communicate national restrictions to other countries which would be expected to make specific mention on the European card. The Commission states that in the absence of such specific mention, "hunters and marksmen who engage in sporting competitions - who were acting in good faith - have had their weapons confiscated at the border".No harmonisation of the categories of firearms has taken place since the Member States are free to retain their national legislation if it is more strict than the Directive, according to the Commission report. Thus, Italy and Sweden have included as firearms compressed air guns or air pistols, as well as disabled weapons, which are excluded from the scope of the Directive. The establishment of common technical standards on disabling weapons is, however, deemed desirable by the majority of Member States, who decry the possibility that exists in certain countries of being able to obtain a certificate of disablement for a weapon capable of being reactivated, and thus constituting a danger for public security.United Nations.Certain provisions of the Directive will have to be adapted in order to comply with the United Nations Protocol Against Transnational Organised Crime. Since the application of the Protocol is general, it will also concern lawful trade in firearms, according to the Commission. In addition, the regional integration clause of the Protocol will make its provisions inapplicable to intra-Community trade but will require decisions to be made at the Community level. This will be the case in particular as regards firearm registers and the marking of firearms; registration and accreditation of brokers; as well as prevention of reactivation of disabled weapons.

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Publication:European Report
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:4E
Date:Jan 13, 2001
Words:350
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