9 May 2007
BRUSSELS – It has been a year since the new weapon law was introduced and only 10 percent of the guns in Belgium have surfaced. In addition provincial services that grant permits are busier than ever with applications.
Parliament approved a new weapon law after the shooting of a nanny, toddler and other woman on the street in Antwerp by Hans Van Themsche on 11 May 2006. All firearms are banned unless a permit is obtained from the provincial governor.
In the past year about 70,000 weapons were turned in for destruction and renewed permits have been requested for another 58,000 that already required a permit.
About 34,496 hunting and sporting weapons that did not require permits under the old legislation but which do now have been registered.
So in total about 162,000 weapons have so far surfaced of the 700,000 weapons in total registered in the central records.
There are an estimated 1.5 million to 2 million weapons in circulation in Belgium.
Provincial services responsible for processing renewal permits say it will take until 2009 to process all the applications they have received.
[Copyright Expatica News 2007]
Subject: Belgian news