European Convention on the Control of the Acquisition and Possession of Firearms by Individuals

(ETS No. 101)

Open for signature by the member States of the Council of Europe, in Strasbourg, on 28 June 1978.

Entry into force: 1 July 1982.

Summary of the treaty

The aim of the Convention is to set up a system for controlling the movements of firearms from one country to another. It applies in all cases where a firearm located in the territory of a Party is sold, transferred or otherwise disposed of to a person resident in the territory of another Party, or where it is transferred permanently and without change in the possession thereof to the territory of another Party.

The Convention offers two alternative methods of controlling the movement of firearms:

– the "notification" system, with an obligation on the Party in which the firearm was originally located to notify the Party on the territory of which the person is resident of the sale, transfer or other transaction;
– the "double authorization" system, whereby the transaction may not take place without the previous agreement of the two States concerned.

The Parties also undertake to afford each other mutual assistance in the suppression of illegal traffic and in the tracing and locating of firearms transferred from the territory of one State to the territory of another.