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Will the Czech Republic Be First E.U. Country to Adopt Their Own Version of the Second Amendment?

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AP Photo/ Rick Bowmer

Could the Czech Republic become the first European Union (EU) nation to adopt their own version of the Second Amendment? 

It could very well happen, should bureaucrats in Brussels not block it or impede their efforts. 

On July 13th, 2020, the Senate chamber (Senát Parlamentu Ceské republiky) approved a “constitutional proposal adding the right to defend oneself and others with a firearm in the list of fundamental human rights and freedoms.”

Over 100,000 signatures in support of it were received. 

The Czech government initially opted for neutrality on the matter then came out in support of it. Now its fate rests with members of the Czech Parliament. In order to go into effect, it’ll require support from three-fifths of lawmakers in both chambers. 

Ammoland noted

35 members of the Czech Senate introduced legislation to amend the Czech Constitution’s Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms.

The proposal would alter the charter to include language that roughly translates to the following, “The right to defend one's life or another's life and weapons is guaranteed under the conditions laid down by law.”

In a document explaining the forwarded change, the senators noted, “The current proposal… strengthens the fundamental rights of individuals. The proposal itself introduces a constitutional enshrinement of the right to defense with arms.” The item goes on to explain, “Given the importance of the right to life, which is the most basic right, because without life other human rights cannot be fulfilled, the proposal considers it appropriate to symbolically elevate this right to the constitutional level.”

Momentum Building For Gun Rights in the Nation

What explains the Central European nation’s desire to advance their version of a Second Amendment? National Review senior writer David Harsanyi laid it out

Following the Velvet Revolution, the newly formed Czech Republic passed a law legalizing the purchase of a firearm for citizens without criminal records. Although the former Czechoslovakia had a rich history of firearm production, under fascism and Communism personal ownership was largely forbidden.

This follows a growing trend of increased firearms ownership in the Central European country. As of 2019, over 300,000 Czechs possess firearms licenses and 900,000 personal firearms were registered.

2013 “Firearms in the European Union” report said personal protection is a primary reason for owning firearms in the Czech Republic (43 percent). 

Previous legislative attempts to enact a similar amendment were tried before. In 2017, Czech Republic’s lower parliament, the Chamber of Deputies, approved a similar constitutional amendment permitting gun rights. Citing increased threats across the continent and distrust with the E.U. to effectively enact safety measures, the Ministry of Interior endorsed the amendment in December 2016

Sadly, There Are Obstacles Ahead

The European Firearms Directive (EFD) is a continent-wide law governing civilian firearms acquisition and ownership. Since its inception, the law has created immense legal obstacles to legal gun ownership for all 27 member states. 

In 2016, the EFD made it harder for Europeans to possess semi-automatic firearms, which are quite standard here in America. It reads:

A ban of certain semi-automatic firearms: These include automatic firearms transformed into semi-automatic firearms, long semi-automatic firearms of length less than 60cm, long semi-automatic firearms with loading devices of more than 10 rounds, and short semi-automatic firearms with a loading device of more than 20 rounds.

All 27 member states were required to comply with this particular directive by 2019.

Resistance Building to E.U.’s Arcane Gun Laws?

Despite the prevalence of strict gun control policies, Europeans have reportedly bought more firearms in recent years. In January 2019, the Wall Street Journal noted a surge in gun ownership. How interesting!

Per the aforementioned report on E.U. firearms ownership, attitudes on firearms ownership varies country to country. It also noted 10 percent of Europeans owned a firearm—paling in comparison to our country. 

Clearly, attitudes on firearms ownership in the E.U. greatly differ from the U.S. Why? Americans largely buy guns for personal defense reasons. 

In comparison, Europeans primarily buy guns for hunting (35 percent) followed by professional reasons (29 percent) and sports like target shooting (23 percent). Personal protection came in at fourth place with 14%. 

Conclusion

Granted there are no obstacles from Parliament or the E.U., the Czech Republic could become the first European nation to codify gun rights into law.

Only three countries around the globe — Guatemala, Mexico, and the U.S.—include gun rights in their respective constitutions. Shocking, right? It’s shameful most countries disregard this sacred right. 

It would be wonderful to see this great ally of ours join the club. Let’s hope the Czech Republic will make history on this front!

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