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President Milos Zeman; The legendary CZ 75 pistol

Czech Republic amends constitution on right to bear arms

While the EU is planning to restrict gun owner rights by amending the EU Firearms Directive, the Czech Republic has amended its constitution so ordinary citizens will be allowed to shoot terrorists if police are not present.

Published: June 30, 2017, 5:25 am

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    Prague

    The Czech lower chamber approved a bill on Wednesday to strengthen gun ownership. “This constitutional bill is in reaction to the recent increase of security threats, especially the danger of violent acts such as isolated terrorist attacks… active attackers or other violent hybrid threats,” the bill stated.

    The Czech upper chamber, once it approves the amendment, will forward the bill to President Milos Zeman who is expected to sign.

    The EU meanwhile has been using terrorism as a pretext for more gun control. The European Commission announced its proposed changes to a directive less than a week after the November 13, 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris.

    In addition to restricting the configurations of available firearms, the revised EU directive has added new burdens on gun owners.

    Czech gun owners are opposed to the proposed changes to the EU Firearms Directive, as the country has always had a pro-gun culture. The Czech Republic has always been one of the most gun friendly countries in Europe, with one of the lowest violent crime rates compared to other European countries.

    In the United States, mass killers are known to seek out gun-free zones.

    The US Crime Prevention Research Center has done invaluable research on the issue: “Since at least 1950, only slightly over 1 percent of mass public shootings have occurred where general citizens have been able to defend themselves.”

    Professor Nelson Lund of George Mason University Law School told the New York Times that gun-free zones on campuses were actually more dangerous: “Armed citizens frequently save lives and prevent violent crimes, often without firing a shot. Nearly all mass shootings occur in ‘gun-free zones’, and some of these massacres have been stopped by civilians who intervened after retrieving a gun.”

    President Zeman has cautioned Czech citizens to prepare for the violence currently perpetrated by jihadists. In an earlier interview with Czech media outlet Blesk, Zeman urged citizens to arm themselves.

    There are currently 300 000 people with a firearms license and some 800 000 Czechs legally own weapons. Violent or confrontational crime is very rare in the Czech Republic, thus rubbishing claims that guns lead to violence.

    Nations such as Switzerland, Monaco, Austria, and the Nordics countries are more reasonable than the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Italy, where it is close to impossible to own a gun.

    Czech officials have wisely recognised that the right to self-defense is the best way of combatting terrorist violence.

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