You may have heard about the proposed EU Gun Laws which have come to fruition following the appalling terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels, but are they really working?
In a bid to clamp down on the illegal trade of firearms between European Union member states, new laws have been introduced which aim to make it increasingly difficult for terrorists and other criminal groups to obtain dangerous firearms.
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However, in reality, a huge number of potentially lethal weapons are still able to be traded across the union which covers over 1.6 million square miles of land.
The firearms in question are known as deactivated or “acoustic expansion weapons” which are purchased frequently in locations across the world under the guise of movie props as well as other false classifications.
As an example, it was these types of weapons which were acquired and recommissioned by Saïd and Chérif Kouachi to later be used in the horrific assault on the Charlie Hebdo offices in January 2015 which claimed the lives of 12 innocent people.
It is believed a large proportion of these weapons originate from eastern European countries before then being transported to their given destination, often for illicit purposes.
One of these countries is thought to be Slovakia, a member state of the European Union which shares borders with the Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Ukraine and Poland.
In November 2015, a story published by The Wall Street Journal detailed how a small shop located in Partizanske, Slovakia supplied jihadists with deactivated guns which were then reactivated and used to conduct two subsequent terror attacks in Europe.
This is a prime example of how the current legal stance on guns trade and ownership needs critical restructuring in order to truly safeguard the public from an offence which can be potentially occurring on their doorstep.
In Britain, ownership of illegal firearms is punishable by a five year jail sentence which has, so far, assisted in a considerable reduction of UK homicides of 45% from 2003 to 2015.
Whilst prioritising the safety of the public is undeniably important, it seems the introduction of this new legislation has been largely ineffective to its cause and may even be counterproductively causing hobbyists and replica gun collectors to be affected.
The changes in EU gun laws could make it extremely challenging for fans of gun-based action sports such as airsoft and paintball to obtain a perfectly legal and safe weapon despite there already being adequate rules in place for these types of scenarios.