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Czechs to give gun use constitutional protection

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The Czech Senate on Wednesday voted to ramp up legal protections for firearms by enshrining “defensive” use in the constitution after gun owners worried an EU ruling was weakening their position.

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The Czechs already had the right to use firearms in self-defense but the European Union passed a directive in 2017 banning civilians from possessing certain types of firearms.

The constitutional protection is designed to make sure the directive does not impinge on the existing rights of Czech gun owners.

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“The submitted bill introduces the explicit right to defend life… stating clearly that it could also involve armed defence,” said senator Martin Cervicek, a former police chief who introduced the bill.

He said the bill enshrined the right to defend “not only the defender’s life, but the life of another”.

When the 2017 EU directive was passed, the Czech interior ministry said it would affect nearly all of the 300,000 gun licence holders in the country.

The constitutional amendment came after a petition signed by 102,000 hunters, gun owners and politicians.


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