Détention civile d’armes à feu

Possession of firearms by civilians

Through its research on European regulations and Belgian legislation on possession and legal trade in arms, GRIP wants to improve their enforcement and to make the public aware of the necessity of preserving the balance between permission and restriction. GRIP takes part in the “Commission consultative des armes” (Advisory Committee on Arms). 

Civilians are in possession of about 650 million firearms in the world, which accounts for ¾ of the global stockpiles. Regulating civilian possession of weapons seems to be then an important part of the monitoring of the circulation and use of small arms. Most of the States allow the civilian possession of firearms with some restrictions. Authorised use generally includes target shooting, hunting, business use (in some context) but also self-defence. It is the case in Belgium where, since a racist slaughter took place in Antwerp in 2006, federal authorities have strengthened controls. Indeed, they adopted a more restricting law on civilian possession and carriage of firearms. There is a thin line between the abuse of firearms and a legitimate civil use defined by this law. The balance can be upset when unfortunate current events happen or rules change because of debates between pro- and anti-weapons.

Through its research on European regulations and Belgian legislation on possession and legal trade in arms, GRIP wants to improve their enforcement and to make the public aware of the necessity of preserving the balance between permission and restriction. GRIP takes part in the “Commission consultative des armes” (Advisory Committee on Arms).