Czech parliament votes in favour of legalising firearms possession

Saturday, July 1, 2017

On Wednesday, the lower house of the Czech Republic's parliament voted in favour of expanding legal firearms possession, asserting safety of the state and citizens. 139 of 168 deputies voted to amend the Czech constitution, allowing firearms possession previously banned under European Union (EU) orders.

Per the amendment, citizens can legally obtain guns, and carry them for the security of the country during militant attacks. Interior Minister Milan Chovanec said, "We do not want to disarm our citizens at a time when the security situation in Europe is getting worse" in Wednesday's parliamentary debate. The EU reformed the gun law in December, prohibiting citizens from possessing short semi-automated arms with more than 20 rounds, and long semi-automated arms with more than ten rounds. The rule was enacted in April; the Czech Republic, Poland, and Luxembourg opposed it.

The EU's decision to call for stricter law for firearms came after the Paris attack in November 2015, and explosions at Brussels' airport and subway system in March 2016. Chovanec said, "Show me a single terrorist attack in Europe perpetrated using a legally-owned weapon." The amendment waits for the approval of the senate and the president. The Czech government is to lodge a complaint against the EU's orders in the European Court of Justice by August 17.

In recent years, unlike the Czech Republic, European countries including the United Kingdom, France and Belgium suffered militant attacks. Last year's Global Peace Index listed the Czech Republic sixth in the safest countries.