Question of the Day: Who Knew Automatic Rifles and Grenades Were Legal in Belgium?

Ex-convict Nordine Amrani went on a shooting and hand grenade spree in a public square in Liege, Belgium Tuesday after first killing someone at his home. Three were murdered at the square during the attack and one died later. “Armed with grenades and an automatic assault rifle, Amrani killed two teenaged boys and a 17-month-old baby on a square crowded with school-children and lunch-hour Christmas shoppers before shooting himself in the head.” Belgian politicians are now lining up to express their horror and – quicker than a Kardashian gets divorced – call for tougher gun laws…

What’s that? It sounded like you said, “I thought Belgium, like all enlightened European countries, already had some of the toughest gun laws in the western world.” Well, you’re right about that. But as an AFP story in theprovince.com reports, that doesn’t seem to matter.

New Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo will detail government proposals before the parliament later Thursday after calls for a tightening of laws on weapons trafficking and an examination of whether to re-examine rules on repeat offenders.

Belgium’s gun laws were drastically tightened after two racially-driven murders in 2006 by a far-right 18-year-old, but new Home Affairs Minister Joelle Milquet this week expressed alarm over an increasing number of weapons available illegally.

Because as we all know, more gun laws always affect criminals first and foremost. But maybe – just maybe – the problem here wasn’t the lack of laws on the books.

The 33-year-old Amrani, who had a passion for arms, was well known to police before he went on the rampage, with a record dating back to children’s courts and charges for drug dealing, petty theft, illegal arms possession, and even a conviction for rape.

It will be hard to make automatic rifles and grenades any more illegal in Belgium. But as was the case involving the murder of a New York City police officer, another option – one that won’t require Belgium’s undoubtedly overworked public servants to pass more unanimously passed legislation – will be to enforce the laws already on the books, and keep known felons in jail.

25 Responses to Question of the Day: Who Knew Automatic Rifles and Grenades Were Legal in Belgium?

  1. avatarMoonshine7102 says:

    Gun control: The theory that lowering the speed limit from 30 to 25 will stop teenagers from flying through town at 85.

    • avatarTotenglocke says:

      What if 85 mph is perfectly safe on that particular road? It’s been well established that speed limits are made much lower than they need to be in order to increase revenue for the local government.

  2. avatarMike OFWG says:

    Home Affairs Minister Joelle Milqutoast

  3. avatarmatt says:

    I’m assuming these guns were not legal. According to gunpolicy.org, full auto guns are prohibited from private ownership, semi auto assault weapons and hand guns require special authorization. Licensed firearm owners in Belgium are permitted to possess 1 firearm per authorization. I’m assuming with those laws, grenades would be illegal too.
    http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/belgium

    He was armed with a semi or full auto rifle and grenades, and all he could kill was 3 people in a crowded square? Really?

    • avatarJJ Swiontek says:

      They found the body of his housekeeper in a shed at his home. He went to a building next to a “Christmas Village” and started lobbing grenades and firing into the crowd below. Depending on which reporter you believe, the count is 5 killed, between 75 and 100 wounded. And yes, he was part of “the Religion of Peace”.

  4. avatarDrewR55 says:

    Wait! You’re telling me that he was able to obtain and use an automatic weapon in a European Nanny-State? That cannot be! Somehow it must be the fault of the United States! If they would just sign the U.N. Ban on Weapon Trafficing and also outlaw the private ownership of all their weapons then this wouldn’t have happened. /Sarcasm.

  5. avatarSilver says:

    Political posturing in an attempt to show people that they’re “doing something.” Believe me, they don’t think new laws will help any more than we do.

    Problem is, no one has the balls anymore to just say, “Things like this happen, that’s life, deal with it.”

  6. avatarGS650G says:

    They were quick to say this was not terrorism. Hand grenades? I bet the people in the square were terrified, hence it’s a known, convicted criminal committing an act of terrorism.
    Or not, according to the wise authorities. One things for sure, it’s easier to call for a firearms roundup than deal with the revolving door justice system…..

  7. avatarDamien says:

    It’s a good point you’re making. If I just may say (as I’m Belgian): this happened in Liège, which is not the capital of Belgium (Brussels is). I know, it’s just a detail… such a small country anyway, any city could be the capital.

  8. avatarTom says:

    So…if this Amrani guy is from the religion of “Peace”; where did he get the unobtainable and illegal fully automatic rifle and grenades? From an old German Bunker in the Ardenness?

  9. avatarO.N. says:

    More proof that importing the Third World isn’t a good idea.

  10. avatarKyle says:

    It sounds like they should be investigating their criminal justice system. With a conviction for rape, shouldn’t Amrani have been in prison? Whoever let him out has some explaining to do.

  11. avatarTim says:

    Obviously, they need to put up some “Grenade Free Zone” signs.
    Condolences to the victims and their families.

  12. avatarNCG says:

    Funny (well, not ha ha funny) given Belgium’s long history as a nexus of the international arms trade. “All roads lead to Rome, and all guns point from Brussels.” Or something like that.

  13. avatarPhilthegardener says:

    You need to export some CA and NY politicians to Belgium, Pronto! And keep them there for a while, please.

  14. avatarSilver says:

    I wonder if he’ll be staying in a 4-star prison hotel like Breivik in Norway and other European paradises.

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