Firearm safety tests were made compulsory at the beginning of the 16-th century, for instance in Styria (Austria) by decree of Maximilian I of Habsburg on the 12th of September 1501, a little later in London (England), and in the 17-th century in Liège (Belgium). At that time, proofing was executed by "proofers" at public places. All firearms of reputable brands were proofed this way. Proof testing is compulsory in Belgium since the decree of Maximilian Henry of Bavaria dated May 10, 1672. The Liège Proof House was created at this occasion. Progressively, national proof houses were set up in other countries and proof marks were introduced.
In 1914, the director of the Liège Proof House in Liège, Mr. Joseph Fraikin (director from 1908 to 1946), was the originator of the creation of the Permanent International Commission for Firearms Testing (C.I.P.).
The C.I.P. has progressively established a set of uniform rules for the proofing of firearms and ammunitions to ensure the reciprocal recognition of the proof marks of each member states.
A convention between the 13 member states was signed in 1969, ratified and converted into law in each signing state, so that the rules can be enforced to assure that every firearm and cartridge on the market has successfully passed the compulsory proofing and approval.
Read more about this topic: Commission Internationale Permanente Pour L'Epreuve Des Armes à Feu Portatives
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