MPs demand tighter gun club rules
20 April 2004 , AMSTERDAM — Dutch MPs are demanding that the government impose tighter rules on shooting clubs after a gun club member killed three people before turning the weapon on himself in a shopping complex in the city Tiel last week.
20 April 2004
AMSTERDAM — Dutch MPs are demanding that the government impose tighter rules on shooting clubs after a gun club member killed three people before turning the weapon on himself in a shopping complex in the city Tiel last week.
The Parliament believes it is too easy for members of shooting clubs to take guns and ammunition home and populist LPF MP Joost Eerdmans said there are too many murders caused by gun club members.
A former marine and gun club member shot and killed four members of his former partner's family in the southern city Kerkrade in October 2003.
The culprit, identified as Paul S., is currently undergoing a psychiatric assessment in the PBC observation clinic and his trial will start on 13 May, a prosecution spokesman said.
Inquiries are still being conducted into the Tiel shooting on 15 April. Police are blaming the shooting on a fight between two former lovers and the alleged gunman was a member of a shooting club.
Government coalition party the Christian Democrat CDA and main opposition party Labour PvdA have since backed the LPF proposal to impose tighter restrictions on gun clubs.
But the shooters association KNSA criticised the proposals on Tuesday, claiming they were short-sighted and stigmatised gun club members, NOS Teletext reported.
Despite the objections, the LPF, CDA and PvdA are demanding that gun clubs gain greater powers to run background checks on members. In future, new members must be able to show proof of good conduct before gaining membership.
Eerdmans also said one-off members should be required to leave their weapons at the clubhouse and suggested they could be locked up in a safe.
The three parties are also demanding that gun clubs keep tabs on how many bullets members have used. At present there are no rules regulating this.
Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner has admitted in the past that he could not exclude the possibility that bullets from gun clubs end up on the black market.
CDA spokesman Sybrand van Haersma Buma said there are gun clubs in the Netherlands that correctly apply the rules, but that there are of course those that don't. "That's where we should get a grip on," he said.
There are about 700 other gun clubs in the Netherlands and according to present regulations, members can keep up to five guns at home.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news