Call for tougher gun laws
17 November 2004
BRUSSELS – Two Flemish politicians are pushing to tighten Belgium’s gun laws to stall the growing numbers of people killed by firearms.
Geert Lambert, leader of the left leaning liberal party Spirt, and his fellow party member Stijn Bex say they want to reduce the number of people killed by guns every year in Belgium.
At present the average death toll from shooting incidents in Belgium is 367 and it is thought that there are around two million weapons in circulation in the country.
The more guns are in circulation, the more people will die, say the two politicians.
The two men denounced the ease with which it was possible to buy a weapon.
They demonstrated that it only took them half an hour to purchase a hunting rifle with an identity card and the necessary cash.
The party has put forward a new law that would tighten up the requirements for gun ownership and only allow permits to be given to those who use guns for their hobby or job.
The 50,000 people who use shooting galleries would be allowed to keep their weapon but not the ammunition to go with them.
Hunters would be able to keep their guns and munitions in a safe storing place under lock and key.
Spirit is also pushing for the central registration of all weapons made in Belgium.
In addition, it has asked the government to introduce a gun amnesty to allow legal and illegal gun-owners to hand in their weapons anonymously.
[Copyright Expatica 2004]
Subject: Belgian news