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European Parliament Votes for Tougher Gun Laws

BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union lawmakers have voted to toughen the bloc’s gun laws and close loopholes exploited by attackers in France.

The lawmakers passed the rules on Tuesday in a 491-178 vote, with 28 abstentions.

It will force EU countries to beef up laws on certain arms that fire blanks so they can’t be easily converted to use live ammunition and require permits from people wanting to buy one.

Disabled weapons, some of which are too easy to reconvert, will have to be declared to national authorities when they are made safe.

Such weapons were used in the 2015 attack on the offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in which gunmen shot dead 12 people.

Tougher controls will be imposed on semi-automatic weapons with high capacity magazines.

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