Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Interior Ministry wants to enable public to use legally held weapons against terrorists

ČTK |
3 January 2017

Prague, Jan 2 (CTK) - The Czech Interior Ministry plans a constitutional law to strengthen the right to use legally possessed arms to provide security and enable their owners to defend themselves against terrorists during attacks similar to those by lorries in Nice and Berlin last year.
The ministry would like to push through the draft amendment, which it has submitted to parliament, by the October general election.
The ministry points out that the possibilities of state bodies to quickly and efficiently prevent casualties and other damage are limited during such attacks. This is why it wants to enable the owners of legally possessed firearms to intervene against terrorists.
Any possibility of legal defence to lower the attackers' chances is desirable in view of the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms.
As of December 1, 2016, there were 300,115 holders of firearm licences in the Czech Republic with the population of 10.5 million almost 241,000 of whom held the group E licence for the protection of lives, health and property.
A total of 798,424 weapons of all categories were registered, including 357,338 semiautomatic pistols, guns and revolvers.
The proposed bill would enable to use these arms in defined cases.
"The aim of the constitutional bill is not to embed the possession of arms and ammunition as a fundamental right in the spirit of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, for instance," the Interior Ministry said.
The proposed right is supposed to become one of the possibilities and it would apply only to Czech citizens and Czech territory and not to other EU countries' citizens staying in the Czech Republic.
A follow-up amendment to the law on arms would specify more detailed conditions. It would introduce stricter requirements for arms holders. They would have to undergo regular obligatory shooting tests. The amendment would also guarantee their higher level of knowledge and preparedness in the area of security provision, the Interior Ministry says.
hol/dr/rtj

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