“In February 2015, a gunman entered a restaurant in the southeastern town of Uhersky Brod and opened fire, killing eight people and seriously wounding one before he fatally shot himself,” the AP reports. “The gunman was a 63-year-old local man who had no criminal record and had a gun license. Authorities ruled out terrorism.” What’s a government to do? Something! As you can imagine . . .
The lower house of the Czech Parliament has approved a government plan to give police increased powers to seize guns and ammunition, a move prompted by a rare deadly shooting in a small-town restaurant last year.
Friday’s 93-35 vote would make it possible for police to seize weapons from legal owners on suspicion that their health condition has changed and they could pose a threat.
Approvals from the upper house and president are still needed.
Meanwhile, radio.cz reports . . .
Gun sales in the Czech Republic have been rising fast in recent months, while the number of Czechs applying for licenses is also growing . . .
In the last five years over 100,000 guns have been sold in this country, bringing the total number owned by private citizens to more than 800,000, according to the newspaper Hospodářské noviny.
After a period of decline, applications for gun licenses saw a marked upswing in the second half of last year. Two thousand Czechs acquired permits between the start of June and the end of December, joining the 290,000 who already possessed one.
That said, the Czech Republic’s National Security Council has rejected EU plans to introduce tougher gun control laws, following the terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels. That said . . .
The minister of the interior, Milan Chovanec, said acquiring a gun permit would not become more difficult. The existing criteria are strict enough, adding that only half of applicants passed the necessary test.