Will the Czech Republic Get a Second Amendment?

The Czech Republic is considering adding the right to armed self-defense to their document of fundamental rights. (Photo: Self-defense class in the Czech Republic, Wikimedia commons)

The Constitution’s guarantee of the right to keep and bear arms is unique on the world stage. And while courts and legislators routinely ignore or warp the words of the Second Amendment, it’s stood as a bulwark against the worst kinds of anti-gun policies in places like Canada, Australia, and Europe.

This year, one of those European counties may be taking a step towards what Americans have enjoyed since 1776.

For several years, conservatives in the Czech Republic’s parliament have been pushing to add the right to armed self-defense as one of the “fundamental human rights and freedoms,” according to David Harsanyi writing in National Review.

“The right to defend one’s own life or the life of another person with a weapon is guaranteed under the conditions laid down by law,” the proposed amendment reads.

SEE ALSO: Switzerland Caves to EU, Imposes Slate of New Gun Laws

Conservatives passed the amendment through the lower house of parliament, but it failed in the upper house. But now they’ve earned a majority in the senate, and the Czech government unexpectedly announced it would endorse the plan to add the language.

The Czech Republic was the only European country to challenge the draconian European Firearms Directive passed by the European Union in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo terror attack in 2015. As GunsAmerica reported at the time, the Directive banned most types of semi-automatic firearms even in countries with high rates of firearm ownership and low rates of crime.

The Czech Republic lost its challenge to the directive in the European Court of Justice, but the Czech Senate first proposed a right to firearms several years ago after it had received a petition with more than 100,000 signatures.

SEE ALSO: European Union Threatening to Tighten Gun Restrictions on Non-Member Switzerland

It’s unclear whether the pro-gun amendment will pass or if it will be able to override the EU’s Firearm Directive if it does. The amendment requires a 60 percent majority of both chambers of parliament to join the country’s Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms, but the center-right Civic Democratic Party may not be able to reach that threshold.

The Czech Republic ranks in the middle of the pack on the rankings of firearm ownership among European countries, but the country has a long history of firearm use and manufacturing. Rates of ownership have been increasing, and of course, the Czech Republic is also the home of the legendary firearms maker CZ.

The Republic remains one of the safest countries in Europe and Prague remains one of the safest cities in the world. No doubt it would become even safer if every law-abiding citizen had protected right to keep and bear arms for self-defense.

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over four years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco. Follow him on Instagram @bornforgoodluck and email him at jordan@gunsamerica.com.

{ 6 comments… add one }
  • I Love Freedom July 31, 2020, 12:43 pm

    It would be very nice to see more countries adopt a private right to keep and bear arms for their citizens. Here is to hoping the Czech Republic adopts this right for its citizens.

    Switzerland does not even recognize the right to keep and bear arms for its citizens anymore from what I have heard. The firearms owned in Switzerland are for the defense of country from foreign attacks.

  • Mark July 31, 2020, 8:10 am

    Uh – Jordan, let’s get this right. The Second Amendment is an Amendment to the US Constitution — proposed by convention 1789, ratified 1791. There WAS no second amendment in 1776 — that was the Declaration of Independence, and although one can argue that the right of self defense — with a weapon — is God-given and therefore not dependent on any document, if you’re going to talk about the Second Amendment, let’s get the facts correct.

    Far too many of us are far too casual about the facts and thus say things that are incorrect and give the other side ammunition to use against our arguments. Get the facts right, people. ALL of them!

  • Star Elton July 31, 2020, 7:02 am

    Looks like I may have found a backup plan on where to live as the sh!t continues to hit the fan here. I could probably live like a king there and get to keep my guns.

    • Tim July 31, 2020, 7:52 am

      I hope you are joking because it sounds like you are a fair weather friend. Why not stick around and see how this ends for us. Maybe help sort out our problems instead of fleeing to another country at the first sign of trouble.

      • Star Elton July 31, 2020, 9:12 am

        It was a tongue and cheek comment.

  • Matt Kartozian July 28, 2020, 12:08 pm

    I’d says the Czechs have the best gun laws in Europe. Carry permits are easy to get and essentially the only restrictions are no machine guns and no cans.

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