Active military, time to go to Europe. Which is more gun friendly?


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Mags
December 30, 2010, 03:55 PM
It's time for me to do an overseas assignment. Which European country listed has the best gun laws for a handgun/AR15 shooter and where do I find their laws at?

Belgium (Kleine Brogel)
Italy (Aviano/Ghedi)
Netherlands (Volkel)
Germany (Beuschel)

I have been on my current assignment for so long I get to pick.

Also, can I bring my guns to any of these countries? Can I bring guns I buy over there back to the US?

Pointing me to their statutes would be great, I tried google but could not find law.

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Zeke Markham
December 30, 2010, 04:01 PM
Good luck. I wouldn't plan on taking anything. I could be wrong though.

788Ham
December 30, 2010, 04:01 PM
Mags,

I don't have the info you're seeking, however! Thanks for your service to our country, your continued faith in our troubling times. I served in the Navy from '67 -'71, another popular time to be enlisted. Hope things work out for your firearm questions, your firearm purchases and your swift return home.

Semper Fi !

788Ham
Patriot who served

McCall911
December 30, 2010, 04:17 PM
This is pretty well second-hand information, but I'm aware that Italy is, or has been, restrictive when it comes to the 9x19, or 9mm Parabellum in particular. Citizens generally aren't, or weren't, allowed this caliber.
My advice would be to contact the consulates of those countries and find out what their gun laws are, relative to your situation.

White Horseradish
December 30, 2010, 05:48 PM
I don't have direct links, but I know people in Germany and Italy.

Other than 9x19 restriction Italy has very decent gun laws. They even have carry fairly accessible to normal people. The common civilian caliber instead of 9x19 is 9x21 and most comparable guns are available in it. Every other caliber is no problem.

Germany has awful gun laws. Not as bad as UK, but simply awful. Mandatory gun club memberships for a period of time (6 months?) before being allowed to buy a gun, huge problems getting another gun in a caliber you already own, carry permits exist but are unobtainable in practice. Import of guns is probably impossible.

Netherlands and Belgium I am not familiar with, but never heard anything good about.

wishin
December 30, 2010, 08:36 PM
Keep bumping this thread to the top because there's one THR member in particular who I remember as being active military and having commented on his experience on this subject before. Sorry, but I can't recall his handle.

Deltaboy
December 30, 2010, 11:27 PM
Go Swiss and you should be happy.

Mags
December 30, 2010, 11:53 PM
Go Swiss and you should be happy.
Too bad that is not an option, especially with them being neutral and all. I am leaning toward Belgium and the Netherlands.

leadcounsel
December 31, 2010, 01:58 PM
I'm also curious.

Mags
December 31, 2010, 02:08 PM
Lead, I was hoping you would have been one of the guys with an answer. Maybe Navy will have one...

Also I am really leaning towards Belgium and the Netherlands after talking to the lil' lady on this subject.

McCall911
December 31, 2010, 03:24 PM
consulate

Embassy! Why couldn't I think of the word "embassy" instead of "consulate"?

:banghead:

:D


Found some random items about Belgian gun laws on the web:

http://www.comunidadesegura.org/en/node/33631


http://gattina-writercramps.blogspot.com/2007/04/new-gun-law-in-belgium.html


http://www.expatica.com/be/news/local_news/new-weapons-law-comes-into-force--30641.html


One item about recent gun law changes in the Netherlands:

http://www.expatica.com/nl/news/local_news/gun-laws-to-be-tightened-22085.html

Mags
December 31, 2010, 03:30 PM
Looks like in Belgium I need a purchase permit from the news links. I bet it's not easy to obtain.

nalioth
December 31, 2010, 05:17 PM
When I was overseas, personal firearms were kept in the unit's arms room (including mine).

You could also buy guns from the PX/BX (of local/regional manufacture).

I suspect being a U.S. service member you'll have different avenues of gun acquisition than the citizens.

PavePusher
December 31, 2010, 05:51 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_law

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_politics_in_Germany

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_politics_in_Italy

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=380036

http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/archive/index.php/t-51296.html


More out there via Google, but will take some time to filter it all.

PavePusher
December 31, 2010, 05:53 PM
P.S. You should probably also contact the Legal office of each base, and your local base TMO desk. They should have more info on hand, or be able to get it.

wishin
January 2, 2011, 01:37 PM
Bump............

berrieberrie
January 2, 2011, 03:35 PM
Belgium chiming in here. I can't comment on your military status (which may make things more easy/difficult), but I can say something on handgun/AR-15 shooting:

- Italy: some calibres are restricted to LE/military (9mm para, for example)

- Germany: has some funky restrictions on semi-auto rifles which remind me of CA - limited mag capacity, no lasers or weapon lights, certain mounts are prohibited as well

- Holland: until recently, stocks needed to be permanently fixed

So, Belgium and Holland seem to place the least restrictions on the guns themselves. In all, I think Holland would be you best bet: there's a discipline called "dynamic service rifle" (no such thing in Belgium), and it's easier to find a range beyond 25-50 yards there.

Mags
March 1, 2011, 05:37 AM
Looks like I'm going to Belgium guys. What do I do with my guns. KB is a GSU and has no legal office or arms room for privately owned firearms due to SOFA and the fact that it is a host nation base.

Rocketmedic
March 1, 2011, 08:39 AM
You need to contact whoever's receiving you.

Blackrock
March 1, 2011, 11:17 AM
I was stationed in Augsburg Germany in 1970 and as a junior NCO I had to keep my firearms in the unit armory. I could check them out after submitting triplicate paperwork through my 1st Sgt.We had range time available twice a month weather permitting. We used a military pistol and rifle range plus had a trap and skeet course (for the Officers).
We had a Rod & Gun club and a sales store where I worked which was nice as I got to keep all the firearms wiped down and oiled.
I bought 4 long guns and 2 handguns while there and when I shipped out boy howdy that was another paperwork mess.
I also had the opotunity to go along on a Chamois hunt with a Major friend of mine which was a lot of fun.

Langenator
March 1, 2011, 04:14 PM
+1 on what Rocketmedic said. Contact your gaining unit. Host nation laws are only part of the equation; the SOFA (Status of Forces Agreement) is the other. There are some foreign duty assignments where US servicemembers aren't alloowe to toake POWs at all.

I haven't been stationed overseas since the late 90s (Baumholder, Ger) and I didn't own any guns when I went. I bought two pistols (a SiG and an HK) from the Rod & Gun club when I was there. However, I understand that the R&Gs no longer sell firearms.

Mags
March 1, 2011, 11:50 PM
Just sent an email to the US-Belgium embassy.

davewil37
March 2, 2011, 01:31 AM
Your transportation office should have the info or the base legal office for firearms shipping and restrictions for your gaining location. What was good a few years ago is usually no longer valid so unless someone is currently at the locations you ask about, the info you get may be out of date.

DaveUSAF

Ron James
March 2, 2011, 01:39 AM
Of course you are aware that unless your travel orders authorizes you to transport a firearm, you aren't going to take anything nor bring anything back.

nalioth
March 2, 2011, 01:56 AM
Of course you are aware that unless your travel orders authorizes you to transport a firearm, you aren't going to take anything nor bring anything back.Are "travel orders" anything like "PCS orders"?

As I recall, my PCS orders didn't say anything about anything being restricted.

Mags
March 2, 2011, 02:13 AM
PCS orders don't restrict anything. The shipper may, but the orders do not. BTW TMO will ship them but I cannot poessess them when I get there, until I get a Belgian permit. I heard this can take 3-4 months if approved and that I have to go through the Belgian state dept. I do not have access to an arms room to store the weapons until my permit is approved.

So I can:

Store weapons stateside (no relatives, would have to use a somewhat unreliable friend or pay$$$ for storage)

Store weapons stateside and then have weapons shipped to me on my dime after permit clears.

Apply for permit now and hope I am approved in time for my household goods shipment.

I like the last option best, I also wonder about haveing the weapons shipped back to the U.S. Would I then be importing?

nalioth
March 2, 2011, 02:19 AM
I like the last option best, I also wonder about haveing the weapons shipped back to the U.S. Would I then be importing?I believe customs has some forms that you fill out with your weapon info when you leave the country, so that you can bring them back in.

Of course, coming back with some new fruit of FN Herstal's orchard will make you an importer :D

Ron James
March 2, 2011, 09:34 PM
Wasn't there a post about two weeks ago on this very subject and country?? A military member was told Belgium was a gun friendly place and he could take his firearms, so he packed them in his house hold goods. The question he asked in his post was, Help, he was in error and how in the world can he ship his guns back home. I'm not an expert on any one subject, however after 27 years in the military I do know, going overseas, if your travel orders do not reflect the fact that you are authorized to take firearms, then you are going to wind up on the wrong side of the stick, period. If you still take them you are importing illegal firearms into a foreign country and they will have no since of humor and the fact you are U S military will not help you. However, you do what ever you want.

Mags
March 2, 2011, 09:53 PM
Unlike the military member mentioned in the previous posts. I actually want to get my ducks in a row before I leave. Like actually getting a Belgian gun permit as required by Belgian law. I have emailed both department of states to see what I need to do in regards to the permit to keep and fire guns in Belgium.

Once I get a permit or something from the dept of states, then I will need to see what Customs wants from in regards to getting them over there. Hopefully they can just go with my household goods shipment.

if your travel orders do not reflect the fact that you are authorized to take firearms, then you are going to wind up on the wrong side of the stick, period. Once again travel orders do not mention privately owned firearms.

If you still take them you are importing illegal firearms into a foreign country and they will have no since of humor and the fact you are U S military will not help you. Where in this thread has it looked like I am trying to do anything illegal. I guess by your logic my going through the dept of state and customs will get me 10 years.

Did you just see the thread title and want to add your 2 cents without reading through it? One important post is #26. I absolutely love the "you better not do that you will be in trouble crowd" when you are asking advice on how to do it the right way.

This thread is becoming more of a PITA then actually helping me gather information on the subject. I need more law and regulations and less opinions.

Ron James
March 3, 2011, 12:37 AM
Mags, you asked for legal advise on a gun forum? However, one more time and then your own your own. PCS orders, as a rule, there are exceptions, do not tell you what you can or can not take to your new duty station. They simjply state that you will leave one place and go to another. You are going over seas, your PCS orders do not instruct you that you can't take you pet dog with you, nor do they instruct you that you can't take your squeeze. The absent of that information on your PCS orders does not otherwise signifie approval. You are supposed to receive a briefing from your personnel officer on what , when and where. If you are in a situation where you do not have access to such an animal, then a visit or even a phone call to the closest military base 's legal officer can help you. Partner, I can't tell you what to do, but just a smidgen of common sense should tell you that your branch of service is your mother and father and controls what you do. Please check with the legal office. Vaya con Dios

Mags
March 3, 2011, 01:08 AM
Actually my PCS orders tell me that I can take my wife and son. Maybe things have just changed since you have been in. The whole point of this post has very little to do with the military, I can handle that part. I'm a big boy and have been in 10 years and have the appropriate rank for my TIS.

What I need to know is: how the heck do I get a Belgian firearms permit?

That is what the young airman you are refering to forgot to do before bringing his guns with him. The base there is a host nation base and as such has limited USAF storage areas so the arms room is not an option.

I am talking with my sponsor over there but they are clueless and my local legal office is anti-gun. The gaining unit does not have a legal office due to it being a GSU.

Once I get a Belgian firearms permit then I can proceed with customs and household goods.

Mags
March 3, 2011, 05:43 PM
Update: Just got off the phone with Customs and I can carry 3 firearms and 1k rounds with me on the plane or ship my whole collection either by applying for an export license or using an exporter.

Now I just need to get a Belgian gun permit and I should be good to go.

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