PRAGUE – A human right to defend oneself with firearms?

The Czech government had thrown its support behind amending the country’s constitution to add the right to defend oneself and others with a firearm to the list of fundamental human rights and freedoms.

The Czech Senate proposed the amendment after it had received a petition with more than 100,000 signatures fearing the potential impacts of the EU’s Firearm Directive on the possession of firearms in the country.

While the government was expected to take a neutral stance on the issue, it nevertheless decided, after an intense debate, to support the amendment.

However, the amendment needs to be backed by three-fifths of lawmakers in both of parliament’s chambers. 

The EU’s firearms policy reform toughened gun control across the bloc and made it harder for EU citizens to obtain and possess certain weapons, as well as created tougher rules for licensing and registration of guns.

The Czech Republic had challenged the ban on semi-automatic rifles for private use.

But measures taken by the European Parliament and the European Council do not breach legal principles, the EU’s top court ruled in 2019.

(Aneta Zachová | EURACTIV.cz)

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