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Parliament to reject EU changes to Swedish gun laws

En jägare laddar sitt jaktgevär med skott. Foto: Fredrik Sandberg/Scanpix
A hunter loading his semi-automatic rifle. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/Scanpix

The Swedish Parliament plans to reject changes to the EU Firearms Directive, which the EU Commission has proposed in part to tighten controls on semi-automatic weapons, reports Swedish Radio News.

For months now, hunters and people engaged in shooting sports in Sweden, have been protesting the possible changes, and today, politicians sided with them when the Swedish Parliament's Committee on Justice took up the question of whether the EU should get to decide over this aspect of Swedish weapons legislation.

"At the EU level, it's important to get at the illegal weapons, but the commission is going altogether too far," said Krister Hammarbergh, of the conservative Moderates.

If the EU Commission gets its way, semi-automatic weapons and the weapons that are used in shooting sports would be classified in a more dangerous category of firearms than they are today, which would make them prohibited. Even a few of the weapons at Swedish museums would be affected. Beatrice Ask (Moderates), the chair of the justice committee, and former Justice Minister, told Swedish Radio News that a rule change which would govern weapons in museums was inappropriate. "And there are several examples like this in this proposal," she said.

Politicians criticized other facets of the proposed changes, as well.

Anders Ygeman, the Home Affairs Minister, said, "We are against the proposals that don't increase security and that might affect, for example, hunters."

Ygeman told Swedish Radio News that he believes the EU will revise its proposal.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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