Interior ministers of the European Union agreed Friday to seek tighter restrictions on civilian access to semi-automatic and deactivated firearms in the 28-member nations of the EU, the EU Observer reports. Their proposals still need to be ratified by the European Parliament before becoming law.
The restrictions originally advanced by the European Commission were tempered by some member nations, including the Czech Republic, which sought less-restrictive laws, and Finland, which has civilian militias to help maintain the peace. In addition, Switzerland, which is not a member of the EU but which cooperates with it on security, also preferred to preserve citizens’ access to firearms.
Although the restrictions are apparently in response to recent terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels, ministers didn’t explain how restricting lawful citizens’ access to semi-automatic firearms could possibly affect terrorists who break every law, including murder, and who illegally traffic in weapons ranging from machine guns to high explosives.