After a heated debate, the Czech government supported the Senate proposal to amend the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms, enacting the right to defend oneself and others with weapons under specific circumstances.
However, the approval of the proposal was unexpected, as, based on the pre-approved materials, the government was supposed to have a neutral opinion on the matter.
Minister of Defense Lubomír Metnar said that several ministers, including himself, changed their initially negative or neutral opinion during the discussion of the proposal, partly due to the development of the security situation in the Czech Republic.
In the proposal, the Senate suggests amending the Charter with the stipulation that people should have “the right to defend one’s own life or the life of another person with a weapon under the conditions stipulated by law.”
According to the initiators of the proposal, led by Senator and former Police President Martin Červíček, the amendment aims to counter the disarmament tendencies in the European Union.
Indeed, last year, the Court of Justice of the European Union dismissed Czechia´s lawsuit against the controversial EU directive that restricts the ownership of weapons, including those held legally. The Czech government then had to submit an amendment to the Act on Firearms and Ammunition to the Chamber of Deputies, which implements the EU regulation to the necessary extent. Currently, parliamentary committees review the EU direction on firearms.
In recent years, the Czech Republic has repeatedly ranked among the top ten most peaceful countries in the list published by the British Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP). In the latest ranking published in June this year, Czechia improved to eighth place from last year’s tenth.
The index is based on evaluating variables such as crime rate, arms availability, size of the army and armament, contributions to UN peacekeeping missions, relations with neighboring countries, the peacefulness of demonstrations, the extent of political pressure on citizens, and participation in foreign conflicts.
Title image: Rick Brand, Chief Operating Officer of Amendment II, shoots a 9 mm pistol into a children’s backpack, left, fitted with an anti-ballistic insert during a demonstration at a gun range, Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012, in Taylorsville, Utah. Anxious parents reeling in the wake of the Connecticut school shooting are fueling sales of armored backpacks for children, as firearms enthusiasts stock up on assault rifles nationwide amid fears of imminent gun control measures. At Amendment II, sales of children’s backpacks and armored inserts are up 300 percent. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)