A bill seeking to amend regulations to establish stricter safety criteria for firing ranges, as well as for the possession, use, and transfer of guns, was approved by the cabinet on Wednesday.
In view of the high level of interest in shooting sports by both Cypriot and foreign athletes who want to use Cyprus as a practice ground, especially during the winter season, and in view of an increasing interest by big investors in the sport, the bill seeks to improve current legislation which restricts possession and use of specific guns, Interior Minister Constantinos Petrides said after the meeting.
In the meeting chaired by Acting President and House Speaker Demetris Syllouris, the approved bill drafted by the interior ministry must also be approved by the plenum before its implementation in cooperation with the justice ministry and other relevant authorities.
“The bill, which outlines the ways in which various shooting sports will be practiced, seeks to regulate the possession and use of specific types of guns within the firing ranges in accordance to relevant EU legislation, and to regulate the establishment and operation of firing ranges so that they correspond to the contemporary needs of shooting sports,” Petrides said.
Stricter criteria for the licensing and operation of firing ranges are also set out by the bill, as among other requirements, both the head of the firing range and their employees will be required to have a clean criminal record.
For many years, there has been a gap in the operation of firing ranges, Petrides said, as many Olympic shooting sports cannot be conducted in Cyprus due to the restrictions of the current legislation.