The EU Firearms Directive – Latest News from Spain

    TFB has reported about the EU Firearms Directive (called the EU Gun Ban) before, and as the directive now slowly is settling around the various EU countries we continue to report about the development.

    We do this from a firearms legislation standpoint, not a political one.

    In short, the EU directive lists the Union’s minimum standards regarding civilian firearms acquisition and possession that the EU Member States must implement into their national legal systems.

    Member States are however free to add more stringent laws, which leads to differences in the extent of citizens’ legal access to firearms within different EU countries.

    For instance, TFB earlier reported about the news from The Netherlands, where a possible law to register ethnic origin and religion of gun owners was discussed. There were a lot of comments on this article, to say the least.

    In Sweden, there are currently negotiations going on, but the government has started with much more stringent laws than the minimum standards in almost every area – especially regulating the size of magazines.

    Also, a lot of the semi-automatic rifles would be transferred from Category B to Category A, which means that “the firearms are prohibited, authorization to acquire and possession may be possible only in special cases”. (European Firearms Directive, Art. 6). In reality, this means that they will be forbidden altogether, with no ways of getting spare parts or travel with the firearms for competition or hunting etc.

    © European Union, 2019 / Source: EC – Audiovisual Service / Photo: Mauro Bottaro

    From Spain, a country with rather strict firearms legislation to start with, we can report that more than 30,000 people signed a petition against the draft of the ICAE.

    Also, the “Asociación Nacional del Arma de España” – ANARMA – recently demonstrated in front of the Central Intervention of Weapons and Explosives of the Civil Guard (ICAE). has a few videos from the demonstration in Spain, where hundreds of people gathered, using slogans on banners such as “NO to the new Weapon Regulation” and “We are athletes, not terrorists“.

    Below: The EU Firearm directive regulates magazines. But what is the definition of a magazine? Are these examples magazines, or not? So far I haven’t seen a definition when, for instance, a Magpul PMAG becomes a magazine.

    These actions, and possibly others, seems to have helped as the Spanish Government withdrew the suggested Weapons Regulation.

    As the proposed texts were written, the regulation could have ended up affecting knives, bows, airguns, airsoft guns and even paintball – treating and regulating them as firearms.

    According to the current information, the Spanish Government will only modify some minor things in the current legislation, to comply with the European Union’s minimum requirements. Of course, we have to wait for the final legislation to be sure, and it would be better if it didn’t have to be implemented at all.

    For more information about the current legislation on firearms in Spain, check this link or this one.


    The regulation of guns in Spain is highly restrictive. The bearing of arms by civilians is not considered a right but a privilege that may be granted by the government if legal conditions are met. Guns are regulated by the Ministry of the Interior through the General Directorate of the Civil Guard.  Different types of licenses are required according to the type of weapon to be used.  Firearms licenses for personal security are restricted to those who can prove that a real danger to their security exists. Automatic weapons are strictly forbidden to civilians.


    Prohibited Firearms

    Private individuals are not allowed to possess automatic firearms, firearms disguised as other objects, or armor-piercing, incendiary, or expanding ammunition. The private possession, advertising, sale, and use of semiautomatic assault weapons and handguns, including pistols and revolvers, are permitted only with special authorization.

    The R.A. prohibits the acquisition, possession, or use by civilians of firearms designed for war use. These include fully automatic weapons, firearms with a caliber of 20 mm or higher, and all those considered to be firearms for war use by the Ministry of Defense

    To the best of my knowledge, “calibers of war” like the 5,56×45 mm are forbidden for civilians. Wikipedia has more information quoted below:

    Rifles chambered for certain cartridges with military origins are prohibited, such as .223/5.56 NATO and .50 BMG. The .308 Winchester and 7.62×39 mm (AK round) cartridges are only permitted in bolt-action, repetition or single-shot firearms.

    Proof of ownership of an approved safe is required for all centerfire rifles and handguns, and the owner is responsible for firearm thefts. Ammunition must be stored separately.

    Rifle and handgun ammunition may only be possessed for legally owned firearms, and purchases and possession is limited to 200 rounds rifle and 100 rounds for handguns. In addition, there are yearly limits in quantity (1000 for rifles,100 for handguns); however additional quantities can be petitioned, mainly for sporting use.

    Exactly how the future legislation will be worded is yet to be decided, but the worst case scenario for seems buried in Spain at this point.

    As details continue to arise, TFB will continue to report.

    Sources: ABC (Spanish), ANARMA, Firearms United, The Library of Congress, Wikipedia. Regeringskansliet (Sweden).


    These news may also interest you: People Of Switzerland Force Referendum Against EU Gun Regulations and Norwegians to lose their semi-automatic hunting rifles. Scrap or Export!

    Eric B

    Ex-Arctic Ranger. Competitive practical shooter and hunter with a European focus. Always ready to increase my collection of modern semi-automatics, optics, thermals and suppressors. TCCC Certified. Occasionaly seen in a 6×6 Bug Out Vehicle, always with a big smile.