Over 300,000 unregistered weapons are allegedly circulating in Belgium, according to figures from the daily Le Soir, published on Friday. The firearms department confirms: “it does seem reasonable to say that between 100,000 and 400,000 firearms have become illegal (defaulted on registration) and are being hidden in people’s homes.” A census revealed 687,334 registrable weapons and 202,603 legally sold weapons which had been registered in January 2005, for a total of 889,937 weapons. 125,000 of these were destroyed by police forces a few months later in application of new legislation. However the new census reveals the existence of a total of 423,258 firearms. The difference between the 2 figures is more than 300,000.
The federal government plans to open a new window for arms registration, but the office of the minister of Justice could give no further details.