The Czech Republic is a country of around ten million people with fewer than four thousand Muslims, however this didn’t stop Czech President, Milos Zeman, urging people to arm themselves in case a “super-holocaust” by Muslim extremists.
Unlike most European states, the Czech Republic has a large number of citizens who own firearms. Currently there are around 300,000 people who have a weapon license and it is thought there are 800,000 weapons owned legally in the country. Obtaining a weapon in the Czech Republic, which borders Germany, is relatively easy: Residents must be 21, pass a gun knowledge check and have no criminal record.
Now the country’s interior ministry is pushing a constitutional change that would let citizens use guns against terrorists. They are now hoping to change the constitution so ordinary Czech’s can unload their weapons at terrorists if security forces are not present. The country hopes to have a large proportion of its citizens ready and prepared to shoot at terrorists. This civil defence force would be willing to shoot and kill to halt terrorist attacks.
The controversial move has raised questions as to who decides what constitutes a terrorist situation, would ordinary people be trusted to make the decision. Some situations may be obviously terrorist related, however some incidents could be marginal and may not need the use of fire power.
The move could see the Czech Republic battle with the European Union, which is seeking to ban the sale of high powered weapons within its borders.
To become law, Parliament must approve the proposal and they’ll vote on the matter in the coming months of 2017.