EU Spooks Hunters With New Gun Control Measures

gun control
VISNOVA, Czech Republic/LUXEMBOURG, June 9 (Reuters) – European Union governments should agree tighter gun control laws on Friday in the wake of Islamist shooting attacks in France and Belgium, despite opposition from some states which say they will hurt only law-abiding enthusiasts. The Czech Republic is among the loudest critics of rules that EU officials expect to secure comfortable majority backing when the 28 interior ministers meet in Luxembourg on Friday. It argues the measures will not prevent criminals acquiring weapons but will penalize hunters and collectors. Since the attack on Charlie Hebdo magazine in January 2015 by men armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles apparently bought in central Europe, France has pushed for a crackdown. It redoubled its efforts after the attacks in Paris on Nov. 13. Prague was among states seeking to water down the original proposals to ensure hunters, sports shooters, collectors and museums can hold weapons, including semi-automatics capable of firing many rounds per minute. Switzerland, which is outside the EU but cooperates on such issues, along with Finland and others also sought exemptions for civilian national defense groups. The Czech Republic has liberal gun regulation by European standards, with about 775,000 legal guns and rifles in the