Hunters and those owning firearms for defense of their country could be exempt from the European Union’s plans for tighter gun control, which were drawn up following last year’s terror attacks on Paris. Concerns have been raised about the impact that a revised EU firearms directive could have on legal gun owners.
EU interior ministers and officials accepted an array of objections Thursday and agreed to review draft plans that could restrict online firearms sales, private use of most semi-automatic weapons and prevent minors from owning guns.
Belgium, Britain and France have been the biggest supporters of the draft plan. Eastern European and Nordic countries that utilize and have strong hunting traditions have been vocal critics of the measures. Some governments argued that animal populations could multiply out of control with fewer hunters and restrictions on militia members could disrupt security. Despite pushback from some EU officials, diplomats said the review should secure exemptions for special interests such as hunting associations and militias.