The European Court of Justice has its headquarters in Kirchberg, Luxembourg city. Photo: Shutterstock.

The European Court of Justice has its headquarters in Kirchberg, Luxembourg city. Photo: Shutterstock.

The European Commission referred Luxembourg to the Court of Justice of the European Union for failing to transpose EU rules on the acquisition and possession of firearms.

This referral concerns a directive on firearms which member states were required to transpose into national law by 14 September 2018. It sets common minimum standards on the acquisition, possession, and commercial exchange of civilian firearms, for example firearms used for sport shooting and hunting. The directive also includes changes to rules regarding arms sellers as well as signal weapons that could be converted into lethal firearms.

The commission launched an infringement procedure against Luxembourg in 2018 for failing to transpose the directive into its national law. The EU’s executive says the grand duchy still has not notified it of the full transposition which it demands.

A looking to change rules and regulations on the acquisition and possession of firearms in Luxembourg was submitted to parliament in March 2019 but has not been voted on yet.

Luxembourg is not alone in lagging behind in the implementation of the directive. were also officially requested to comply with the EU’s rules on firearms trade and possession.

According to EU legislation if a member state fails to transpose a directive into national law, the commission may call on the Court of Justice of the EU to impose financial sanctions. The penalty suggested by the commission consists of a lump sum and a daily payment to penalise the continuation of the infringement following the court’s judgement.

Luxembourg's justice ministry reacted to the commission's referral, detailing its progress in transposing the directive and pointing out it had kept the EU executive informed.

It stated that the opinions of the Chamber of Commerce, the National Data Protection Commission and the Council of State had been solicited, with the latter issuing several objections. An amended bill was adopted by the justice committee in parliament on 13 July 2021 and is currently awaiting approval from lawmakers.

Updated on 23 September at 5.40pm to include the reaction of the justice ministry.