Antwerp mayor wants retroactive weapons law
15 May 2006, BRUSSELS — The Antwerp Mayor has proposed implementing tighter gun control laws with a retroactive effect.
15 May 2006
BRUSSELS — The Antwerp Mayor has proposed implementing tighter gun control laws with a retroactive effect.
Patrick Janssens also urged politicians to quickly process the proposed legislation, but also stressed that this would not be entirely satisfactory.
"Weapons traders know that the law will be tightened. Interested buyers also know that they will soon need to display a hunters licence or a sporting shooters permit for a sporting of hunting rifle which are currently free to purchase," Janssens said.
"I fear that some will quickly buy a weapon while it still can without a permit."
The Antwerp mayor said such a scenario occurred in the past when the previous weapons law was tightened. At that time, traders had encouraged buyers to quickly buy a dangerous weapon without a permit.
To prevent a similar situation this time around, Janssens said the new law should have a retroactive effect, newspaper 'De Standaard' reported on Monday.
Only those who currently buy a hunting or sports weapon are registered. Janssens wants that registration to be used retroactively — after approval of the new law — to demand that buyers also apply for a permit.
The justice commission in charge with assessing the legislative proposal will start deliberations on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Janssens also threw his weight behind the silent march to be held in Antwerp on 26 May in honour of the victims killed in last week's racist shooting.
But in an emotional speech on Sunday television, he refused to draw any conclusions from the murders, adding that holding a debate about the possible responsibility of the extreme-right Flemish Interest would not be fitting at this moment.
He said each member of the public should examine to what extent they were responsible for the shootings.
In other news, flowers and messages of condolence were laid by members of the public at the scene of the shootings over the weekend.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news