The upper house of the Czech parliament has approved the right to bear arms in the Czech Republic’s constitution in response to the European Union’s regulatory stance on possession of firearms.
The right to use firearms to defend oneself and others was included in the Senate-proposed amendment to the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms, which is part of the Czech constitution, Expats CZ reported.
“Based on the amendment, the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms will include a new article saying that ‘the right to defend one’s own life or the life of another person even with the use of a weapon is guaranteed under the conditions set by the law,” the provision of the bill said.
Czech President Miloš Zeman is expected to sign the bill into law. Expats CZ noted the president cannot veto a constitutional bill concerning articles of common legislation.
This constitutional change will keep the right to bear arms from being restricted by EU regulations.
“The proposal is not only symbolic in nature but can also serve as insurance for the future,” Czech Sen. Martin Červíček said.
The amendment was created in response to a petition signed by over 100,000 individuals after the European Commission sought to limit the possession of all firearms.
The petition was created by hunters and legal gun owners who opposed the European Commission’s actions.
The commission said that regulating weapons was necessary to fight terrorism.
Critics, however, said that the regulations approved in 2017 mostly restricted the rights of legal gun owners and interfered with the internal security of the state, according to Parlamentni.
The restrictions would affect about 300,000 individuals who hold gun licenses.
Jaroslav Foldyna, a member of the Czech Parliament during that time, said that the tightened gun restrictions were unnecessary.
“Legal holders commit mimics of crimes,” he said.
“I have no information that someone committed a terrorist crime as a holder of a firearms pass issued in the Czech Republic.”
The newly approved amendment will override the European Union measure.
Fifty-four of the 74 senators approved the amendment to the charter, according to Prague Morning.
It will take effect no earlier than Aug. 1 and no later than Sept. 1.