Prague, Czech Republic – Lawmakers in Czechia are set to meet with Interior Ministry officials and experts to discuss potential reforms to the country’s gun laws, following a recent tragic shooting at Charles University. The incident, which occurred on December 21st, saw a student kill 14 people before turning the gun on themselves.
Czechia has previously boasted about its gun legislation, holding it up as an example for other countries. However, during negotiations for the 2017 EU Firearms Directive, the country actively opposed the new law and even filed an unsuccessful lawsuit.
In response to the shooting, the Czech government has proposed a new national arms legislation, which had already been in the final stages of discussion in response to the EU directive. However, it is now being reconsidered for further amendments to make it stricter, particularly as the gunman was legally in possession of eight guns.
One expected change in the law proposal is the shortening of the time limit for periodic medical examinations of gun owners from ten to five years. Additionally, the new law would grant more powers to the Czech police, allowing them to seize weapons from individuals deemed to pose a safety risk, as well as order health checks.
Furthermore, the proposed legislation would require gun sellers to report any suspicious transactions to the police. One of the most debated changes is the introduction of mandatory psychological tests for applicants seeking firearms licenses, which is not currently required. The Czech Psychiatric Society Committee, however, opposes the idea of universal psychological testing, arguing that a single examination may not reveal potential mental disorders or the ability of the applicant to conceal such issues.
According to the Czech Interior Ministry, as of November, there were a total of 316,564 people with firearms licenses in the country, and the number of registered weapons exceeded one million.
The discussions between lawmakers, Interior Ministry officials, and experts aim to address the tragic shooting and find ways to tighten gun laws in Czechia.