MPs give green light to tighter gun control laws
19 May 2006, BRUSSELS — MPs in the Belgian Parliament voted almost unanimously in favour on Thursday night of new tighter gun control laws.
19 May 2006
BRUSSELS — MPs in the Belgian Parliament voted almost unanimously in favour on Thursday night of new tighter gun control laws.
Only Liberal MR MPs Philippe Monfils and Robert Denis abstained from voting, claiming that the legislation was being passed too swiftly.
Given the fact that Senate is expected to pass the proposed legislation as well, the new regulations could be in force within two weeks.
The law will change existing regulations in which any adult with identification can buy a gun over the counter without a permit.
But in future, anyone who wants to buy a weapon will be subject to police screening and will need to obtain a gun licence first.
Passage of the legislation through parliament was accelerated after a double murder in Antwerp last week in which a Malian woman and a two-year-old Flemish girl were shot and killed.
The arrested suspect, 18-year-old Hans Van Themsche, is accused of buying on impulse a gun in Antwerp on the morning of the shootings before going on a rampage through the city centre.
Besides the two deaths, he is also accused of shooting and injuring a Turkish woman in an allegedly racially-motivated crime.
Justice Minister Laurette Onkelinx said the tighter gun regulations will be in force from next month. All potential gun owners will then need to have a licence before gaining a weapon.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news