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Poll: Many Czechs would give gun licence to all who pass exam

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Prague, Jan 9 (CTK) – Some 43 percent of Czechs would give a firearms licence to anyone who applies for it and passes the relevant exam, while almost one half sees it as dangerous if a gun is held by a civilian who has the required training, an online poll by STEM/MARK has shown.

On the other hand, 42 percent of respondents said it was dangerous if civilians held firearms and that they feared their potential misuse.

Just about the same share of people (39 percent) said they believed that a firearms licence should be issued only exceptionally and its issuance should be subject to stricter terms.

Almost one fifth of the respondents could not answer the question if anyone who applied for a firearms licence and passed an exam should be allowed to own a gun and 9 percent did not have an opinion on firearms ownership by civilians.

Men, who often have a firearms licence or are considering obtaining one, were more lenient in views on firearms ownership, the poll has shown.

“Six out of ten men also think it is useful to have a gun in the Czech Republic for safety reasons, in particular for self-defence, protection of one’s health and the health of one’s family and property,” the pollsters said.

The poll was conducted with approximately 500 people aged 15-59.

Last year, a government regulation amended the terms of qualification exams for firearms ownership in response to an increasing number of complaints by both applicants for guns and police officers supervising the exam.

Previously, the exam was subject to several regulations, laws and government decrees, some of whose provisions were overlapping and creating problems. The new government regulation was to unify the rules for firearms ownership in the Czech Republic and make them more comprehensible.

The exam has two parts, a written test on theory and a practical part to verify the applicants’ ability to safely manipulate arms and ammunition and their ability to shoot at a fixed target.

A provision on the procedure of the examiner was included in the regulation, defining the manner in which the assignment must be presented to the person taking the test, which should be clear and free from ambiguity, as this was something applicants had been complaining about.

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