European Directive 853/2017: the most important innovations on acquisition and possession of firearms

Deactivated firearms - consequences from the new EU gun law

The rules on the deactivation of firearms have been strengthened, not least through a provision requiring the classification of deactivated firearms under category C (firearms subject to declaration). Until now, deactivated firearms weren't subject to the requirements set by the directive.

Another important change introduced by the new directive is the regulation of salute and acoustic weapons that were not regulated by the previous directive. The so-called "salute" weapons are those weapons that are used, for example, in the theater. In the absence of more stringent national regulations it will be possible to purchase this type of weapon freely. 

Stricter rules for the acquisition and possession of category "A" firearms

Firearms classified in category "A" can only be acquired and possessed on the basis of an exemption granted by the relevant member state. The rules for granting such exemptions have now been significantly strengthened. Possible grounds for exemption, such as national defense or the protection of critical infrastructure, are now set out in a limited list and exemptions may only be granted where there is no risk to public security or public order. When a firearm of category A is required for shooting sports, it can only be acquired according to strict rules which include proven practice recognised by an official shooting sports federation.

New EU regulations for firearms: Improving the exchange of relevant information between member states

The new rules enable the Commission to propose the establishment of a system for the exchange of information electronically between member states. The information would cover cases where the transfer of a firearm to another member state has been authorized as well as where the acquisition and possession of a firearm has been refused.

Please watch our video explaining the consequences of the new EU gun law in 2019 for hunters, sportshooters and collectors: