The firearms freedom of the average Czech Republic may be about to grow as the Czech senate is attempting to increase the self-defense rights of its citizens. A rare occurrence indeed. The new amendment would add the right to make use of a legally possessed weapon (firearm) to the already existing right to defense of life.
This new approach to self-defense laws in the Czech Republic is in drastic contrast to other European countries that take a more passive view on self-defense. The Czech Republic already skirts around several EU laws regarding firearms and the country does permit citizens to carry a concealed weapon for self-defense. The country as a whole has 246,715 citizens who currently hold a concealed weapons permits. That number is out of some 303,936 firearms owners who legally possess firearms in the Czech Republic.
Currently, there are no specific legal provisions covering self-defense by a civilian using a firearm. In general, the Czech penal theory recognizes certain classes of circumstances where criminal and civil liability will be excluded in respect of actions that would normally attract a criminal penalty. (i.e. necessary self-defense) The new amendment would solidify the use of a firearm in a self-defense situation for the average citizen in the Czech Republic.
While the Czech Republic does not codify any specific home invasion doctrine like the United State’s Castle Doctrine, it is generally acceptable for a citizen to defend oneself from a violent home invasion with a firearm.
While this isn’t strictly a “shall not be infringed” type of thing, it’s more of a declaration that still explicitly says that the right is subject to legal interpretation. Loosely translated it goes “The right to protect one’s own or someone else’s life (also/even) with a firearm is guaranteed under conditions determined by law.”
I am not a legal scholar but since this does not create any sort of limitations of government overreach into gun ownership (i.e. Shall not be infringed) it really is more of a symbolic thing. That being said I still think it is a step in the right direction as it does make it clear that citizens can indeed use their legally acquired firearms in self-defense situations. This is in blatant opposition to other European Union countries that are seeking to further restrict firearms ownership and use.
Hopefully, this means that European countries like the Czech Republic will start to reject the massive overreach of the European Union regarding firearms ownership. The revision of the directive in 2020 is closing in and they (The European Commission) have made it very clear, that they will be pushing for further and stricter regulation. Hopefully the rich and vibrant firearms history of the Czech Republic can live on.