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Belgium’s tough gun laws didn’t keep Paris terrorists from getting their guns there

January 16, 2015 Featured, Gun Control, Mass Shootings, Politics 1 Comment

By J.E Dyer of

Most people probably expected, like me, to hear that the Islamist terrorists in the Paris attacks had gotten their guns in France.

On Tuesday, however, French authorities announced their suspicion that the guns had come from outside the country.  The provenance of the guns appeared to be connected to the broader ring of terrorists thought by the French to still be at large.

Today’s news about the police raids in Belgium indicates that some of the suspects, including the two who were killed in an attempted Charlie Hebdo-style slaughter, were linked to the terrorists in the Paris attacks.

And it turns out that the Paris terrorists got their guns in Belgium too.  The accomplice, Amedy Coulibaly, reportedly bought them, along with the grenade launchers, from an underworld arms dealer in Brussels.  According to International Business Times:

The area around the [Midi train terminal in Brussels], which serves as the Eurostar’s Belgian terminus, is known as a hub for illegal weapons sales.

But how can that be?  It’s totally illegal to buy and sell guns that way in Belgium.  Guns are very strictly controlled in Belgium, are available only by permit, and are allowed only in certain types.  Civilians are not allowed to possess military weapons, automatic firearms or their ammunition, concealable firearms, silencers, laser sights, or high capacity cartridges.  Private possession of fully automatic weapons is prohibited.  Private possession of “semi-automatic assault weapons” is prohibited.  Private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is permitted only with special authorization.

Special authorization is very difficult to get.  Private sales are prohibited; all legal sales go through licensed gun dealers.  There is a national gun registry on which all firearms owners must register their guns.

Belgium famously overhauled the national gun law in 2006, after a “right-wing extremist” committed two racially-driven murders using a gun.  In the years since, authorities seemed to be aware that the 2006 gun law wasn’t suppressing the underground arms trade or keeping guns out of the hands of criminals; in 2011, when another man – with an extensive criminal history – went on a rampage and killed five people, news reports were full of laments about illegal gun trafficking in Belgium.

The 2011 perp, Nordine Amrani, had in fact been found in 2007 with 9,500 “gun parts” in his home – raising suspicions, I suppose, that he hadn’t kept abreast of the new gun law.  In 2011, the police report had this to say about his armament:

Amrani was armed with an automatic assault rifle, a hand-gun and four grenades and police found nine magazines in his bag.

All of which items were absolutely and totally illegal for him to have, period.  Belgian lawmakers were concerned that they would have to consider drastically tightening the gun laws again.
Read the rest of the article at Liberty Unyielding

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