The 1991 European Directive on firearms regulating the internal non-military market was recently modified by the European Parliament as a first step of introducing the United Nations Firearms Protocol into the European regulation. This note analyses modifications of the Directive which will pave the way to introduce more technical aspects of the UN Protocol into the European regulation, such as granting export, import and transit licenses.
Members of the Parliament also seized the opportunity to go beyond the Protocol’s requirements, taking into account international initiatives on firearms and ammunition since the end of nineties. Thus the new Directive provides for more exchange of information between Member States, simplification of weapons categories, a stricter regime for convertible guns, standardisation of technical specifications on deactivation and a common definition of antique weapons. The new Directive applies to all commercial gun parts and ammunition, including those originating from third countries. Sales over the Internet or other means of remote communication are also covered.