Conflict & Justice

Europe's Surprising Regulations on Guns and Hunting

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A young wild boar in Germany (Photo: WikiCommons/Michael Gabler)

Britain enacted some of the toughest gun control laws in the world after the tragedy in Dunblane.

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But it's a different situation in the rest of Europe.

For one thing, hunting is still a popular European pastime.

And the hunting lobby has helped frame gun laws across much of the continent.

The European Federation for Hunting and Conservation represents 7 million hunters in 37 European nations.

Manuel Esparrago, the federation's firearms expert in Brussels, says there are limits to what guns can be used by hunters but they vary across Europe.

The most restrictions pertain to semi-automatic weapons that can hold more than two rounds in the magazine.

But Esparrago says even these are legal in most states, and are becoming more popular with hunters in Europe.