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Britain's Cameron seeks ban on high-powered semi-automatic weapons

British PM David Cameron will call for an EU-wide ban on certain highly dangerous weapons as part of a plan to tackle terrorism, his office says. EU leaders will meet this week to discuss the ongoing terror threat.

Cameron is to put forward his proposal for the ban at a meeting of the European Council (EC) later this week, a press release from his office said on Sunday.

"We need to ensure that terrorists do not have the weapons with which they can wreak such tragedy," Cameron was quoted as saying ahead of the meeting, referring to the

terrorist attacks in Paris.

"So at this week's summit, I'll be calling for a new EU-wide ban on

all high-powered semi-automatic weapons

and greater co-operation to crack down on the smuggling trade and to stop guns coming in from the western Balkans," he said.

The press release

goes on to detail measures Cameron might propose at the summit to combat the illegal firearms trade. They include increased sharing of ballistics data, introducing more legal means to take firearms out of circulation in the western Balkans, and more restrictions and alert systems within the EU to help prevent terrorists accessing dangerous materials.

Rapid-fire capability

Semi-automatic rifles and handguns are firearms that automatically reload, but require the shooter to pull the trigger each time a round is to be fired. The automatic reload function means that they are capable of rapid fire, and they are often classed as so-called "assault weapons."

Großbritannien David Cameron Rede EU Reform

At the meeting, Cameron will also further renegotiate the conditions of Britain's EU membership

The EU Council meeting on Thursday and Friday in Brussels is due to discuss the EU's response to the November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris, which claimed 130 lives.

The European Council is made up of the heads of state or government of the 28 EU member states, together with the EC president and the European Commission president. The Council has no formal legislative power, but proposes general political strategies for the bloc.

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