The European Commission has sent a formal warning to Malta about the implementation of European rules on alarm and signal weapons.
In its September infringements decisions package, the Commission said it had requested information from Malta on how the rules were integrated into national laws.
“Together with the Firearms Directive, these rules aim to prevent the possibility of converting alarm and signal weapons, which only discharge blank ammunition or irritants, into lethal firearms,” the Commission said.
It added that EU member states had agreed on technical specifications for such weapons, including the procedure for checking compliance and the need to exchange information between authorities, with a January 2020 deadline set for the rules to be fully transposed.
The Commission said that after receiving legal texts from member states it had found that Malta and Belgium’s text contained missing elements.
“It has therefore decided today to open an infringement procedure by sending a letter of formal notice,” the Commission said.
Belgium and Malta now have two months to notify the Commission about the measures taken to ensure full transposition of the rules concerned.
Otherwise, the Commission may send a reasoned opinion.
A failure to address the Commission’s concerns could see proceedings against Malta before the European Court of Justice.
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