Gun laws in the Netherlands: the government wants to know your race and ethnicity

Applying for a gun permit in the Netherlands? Planning to renew your license? The government wants to know your race and ethnicity and is introducing new gun laws in the Netherlands (oh boy, what could go wrong?)

Edit: 18th of March, here’s the report about the shooting in Utrecht of today in case you came to this article searching for that

After far too many terrorist attacks over the last few years, such as those in Paris, a new European Firearms Directive requires police to be able to request the personal information of those with a gun permit.

From now on, the cabinet wants to be able to record the personal data of people who buy guns in the Netherlands. This means details about your race and ethnicity will be collected, but also your religious beliefs, political standpoint and current health status. They receive this information about you from various sources, not necessarily from a one-to-one questioning.

gun laws in the Netherlands

Gun laws in the Netherlands

The possession of a weapons license and the issuing of guns is an extremely serious business in the Netherlands and should be treated as such. Minister Grapperhaus (of Justice and Security) says that this process is necessary to make the best assessment of the applicator.

However, this is a cause for concern among privacy protectors about the possibility of discrimination and the justification of ethnic profiling. Most of the House of Representatives are against this. Even members of the governing coalition say: ‘I can’t believe there is an issue which would justify these kinds of measures’ (Chris van Dam – CDA) and ‘We don’t do ethnic and racial profiling and it’s not necessary according to these new European guidelines’ (den Boer – D66).

Other objectors to these new gun laws in the Netherlands include: The Dutch Data Protection Authority, the Royal Dutch Shooting Sports Association KNSA and probably almost everybody in a healthy mental state of mind.

A parliamentary debate on gun laws in the Netherlands will be held in late 2018.

What do you think about these new gun laws in the Netherlands? Share in the comments!

Abbie Neale
Abbie, a writer from the UK, fell in love with the Netherlands when she was three years old. When she’s not spending her free time painting canals or playing the guitar, she’ll be off travelling somewhere (and probably getting lost).


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