Arms race between criminal groups in Europe risks making it easier for terrorists to obtain high-powered, military-grade firearms,

A new Guardian article lays out how an underground black market of guns is beginning to take hold in Europe.

The Guardian: 

An “arms race” between criminal groups in Europe risks making it easier for terrorists to obtain high-powered, military grade firearms, a report has warned.

The survey says long-standing barriers to obtaining firearms have broken down in recent years owing to the emergence of the internet, cross-border smuggling of military-grade assault rifles into the EU, the conversion of large numbers of blank-firing guns and the widespread reactivation of weapons previously rendered unusable to be sold to collectors.

“The increased availability of firearms has contributed to arms races between criminal groups across the EU,” the report, funded by the European commission, said.

The report goes on

Two trends particularly worry researchers: the “trickling-down” of the possession and use of firearms to lower-level criminals in several EU member states, especially in western Europe, and the growing overlap between Islamic extremists and the criminal underworld.

It also explains the situation in the U.K.

The situation in the UK is different, researchers found, but Duquet said there were growing fears of smuggling of powerful automatic weapons to the UK.

“A number of recent cases, for example, have demonstrated that criminals have been trying to bring military-grade firearms to the UK by exploiting legal loopholes in other EU member states with regard to easy-to-reactivate deactivated firearms,” he said.

This is an example of another growing threat in Europe. Although many European countries have some of the tightest Gun Control laws in the world this report lays out an influx of gun smuggling into European countries.


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