Expatica news

Gun shop owner protests weapon ban

17 July 2007

ANTWERP – The Antwerp gun shop owner Lang, where Hans Van Themsche bought a gun last year, is protesting the city’s decision to ban the display of all weapons in shop windows from now on. The city hopes the measure will discourage people from buying weapons on impulse, but the gun dealer thinks it is excessive interference in his normal way of conducting business.

The ban affects all firearms, replica weapons, daggers, bludgeons, switchblades or depictions of these weapons. Regular pocket knives and weapons with historical, folkloric or decorative value may still be on display for passers by.

“The ban has been in effect since 10 July and applies to all weapon shops and sport shops. Anyone caught in violation risks a fine and/or closure of the shop,” said Peter Renard of Mayor Patrick Janssens’ office.

The city says that the ban was decided in consultation with local weapon shop owners, but Lang reportedly continued to oppose the plan. He filed a complaint with the province on 12 July. “As far as I know he is the only one who has done so. His complaint does not suspend the measure however, the ban continues to be in effect,” Renard said.

The city secretary is currently putting together a dossier containing the Antwerp city council’s standpoint and will hand it over to the governor soon. The governor has 30 days to come to a decision, but that decision too can always be appealed.

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Belgian news