Activities per year
Despite a shared understanding across the EU that access to firearms by the general public should be restricted, detailed legislation regarding the ownership, use and trade of firearms varies between EU member states. It is unclear however, how such variations impact on the policing of gun enabled crime. By using qualitative data generated from interviews with police, policy and decision makers from thirteen European countries, the authors of this article aim to determine how stakeholders perceive that national variations in firearms legislation impact on the policing of gun enabled crime within and across EU countries. Four main themes were identified from the qualitative data: disparities in Legislation, disparities in Priority given and the Resources allocated to investigations into gun enabled crime as well as Interventions. Due to the aforementioned disparities, cross-national investigations into incidents of gun crime are at risk of remaining impaired in their effectiveness. Therefore, more legislative coherency as well as sustainable long-term interventions will be needed to successfully reduce ownership and use of firearms in the criminal world. In this context, a departure from an exclusive use of an economic model of gun crime is recommended to allow for a better understanding of the dynamics of the black gun market.