Jan 282005

Most of you know that it is nearly impossible for a law-abiding citizen to carry a handgun in Western Europe.

Yet, the courts in the Netherlands have ruled that if a criminal commits armed robbery, is caught, and has to pay restitution to the victim, he is allowed to deduct the cost of his illegal firearm from the amount payed back to the victim.

The two primary conditions for being eligible for this deduction are:

1) The gun has to be one that he would not have purchased except for the purpose of committing the crime. In other words, if you commit a crime with a gun you also use for a law-abiding purpose, you don’t get to deduct it as a crime-related expense. The expense incurred by the bad guy has to be directly related to his crime.

2) A crime actually has to be committed with the gun.

In a certain perverse way, I suppose this increases the incentive for criminals to commit armed robbery with expensive high-quality firearms, not with cheap “Saturday Night Specials”, since if they get caught it reduces the amount they have to return to the victims.

According to the prosecutor in charge of the case,

[T]he financial situation of the bank robber after the sentence is imposed must be the same as what it was prior to the crime. “It sounds a little bit strange, but that is the law”…

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