An Open Letter to Gun Rights Supporters Across Europe

Eu Flag And Silhouette guns


[ED: Reader Martin Z. forwarded the following letter from LEX, the Czech equivalent of the NRA]

Dear colleagues,

Since I write to you from Czech Republic, allow me to introduce our country first. In our republic, ownership and carrying of firearms is truly right, guaranteed by law for any adult, legally competent and law-abiding person. Firearms license is shall-issue (anyone who fulfills requirements of the law has legal right to get it). Permit to own B – category firearm is shall-issue, as well as permit for concealed carry.

We own handguns, we use them for sport shooting and carry them for personal protection. We own semiautomatic rifles of military patterns, we shoot them in various sport competitions, and we practice with them for the case that our beloved country would need its citizens to be prepared for its defense. Our hunting tradition reaches well over a millenium into our history, and our sport shooters rarely return from Olympic Games without any medals.

Our country is also 10th most safe country in the world (according to Global Peace Index), our violent crime is low (160/100 000) and our gun crime is negligible (5.8/100,000). Along with Switzerland, whose tradition of liberty, democracy and independence we hold in high regard, our republic stands as example that everything that is needed for a country to be armed, peaceful and free, is strong determination of its people to not let anyone to take these values away.

I’m sure that you’re aware of current situation. In reaction on Paris terror attack, committed with already banned automatic guns (and definitely illegal explosives), the European Commission wants to pretend its ability to protect citizens of European states by restricting legally owned firearms.

Among proposed restrictions are:

  • ban on self-loading firearms which resemble automatic weapons – ban on firearms which were not used at all in Paris attack, but are important for national defense of many states
  • automatic firearms and semiautomatic firearms which resemble automatic weapons would be banned even after deactivation – all collections would be outlawed, only exception would be museums which would be required to irreversibly deactivate their exhibits, thereby permanently damaging its historic and cultural value
  • all other deactivated firearms, along with gas guns, alarm guns, paintball and airsoft replicas etc. shall be moved into category C – firearms subject to declaration
  • the Commission expects member states to actually enforce its order – e.g., seize, confiscate and destroy all newly prohibited firearms – yet expects no impact on the EU budget, which means that either Member states would be forced to pay all compensation for seized property, or there will be confiscation without any compensation.

I would like to have a word to hunters and Olympic discipline shooters here. In the words of the European Commission itself, “we are proposing to ban the acquisition of the most dangerous semi-automatic weapons by private persons. The remaining semi-automatic firearms used for hunting or sport shooting can still be owned by private persons subject to authorisation.” In other words, the Commission wants you to say “Phew, what a luck – they’re not coming for OUR guns!”

Remember that this is exactly how current draconian gun laws in England started in 1987: ban on possession of semiautomatic rifles with military outlook, because “it’s not a sporting gun, it’s not a hunting gun, no one needs it”.

I believe that this example (and many others) illustrates precisely how those politically incorrect black rifles actually create a buffer zone before a ban of your hunting or sporting rifle and pistol – once they’re gone, YOU are next. But first and foremost, I believe that hunters and sportsmen are honorable and fair people, who respect and are willing to stand for rights of others – not quislings willing to throw others to the wolves, as the Commission wants them to be.

None of above mentioned restrictions would have prevented Paris massacres. However, there actually is one loophole in the European Firearms Directive, a loophole that allowed terrorist to acquire firearms which are already banned for citizens. European Commission claims that firearms used in Paris massacres were not bought as legal automatic, or even semiautomatic firearms, nor were they smuggled from outside of the EU.

According to Commission, they were bought as deactivated firearms, and due to poor deactivation standards, terrorists easily re-activated them back to original condition. This is, however, contrary to the European Firearms Directive: it states clearly that deactivated firearm must be irreversibly processed into inoperative condition.

Member states were supposed to implement methods for fulfilling this condition; and to prevent exactly this situation, where a certain state decides that driving two pins through the barrel is enough – which obviously is not – the Firearms Directive ordered that common minimal guidelines for deactivating process shall be issued, that ensure that deactivated firearm will be rendered irreversibly inoperable. And the body whose responsibility was to issue these common guidelines and to oversee their implementation was … the EUROPEAN COMMISSION.

Yes, you’re reading right. Look for yourself – DIRECTIVE 2008/51/EC, Article 1/13, states: “The Commission shall, acting in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 13a (2) of the Directive, issue common guidelines on deactivation standards and techniques to ensure that deactivated firearms are rendered irreversibly inoperable.” Next paragraph states: “Member States shall, by 28 July 2010, bring into force the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with this Directive. They shall forthwith communicate to the Commission the text of those measures.”

That means that the Commission knew about the problem at least for five years, and did nothing. It was last week when the Commission in hurry issued these guidelines, bragging that it will prevent another massacre – and hoping that people will overlook the fact that even Paris massacres could be prevented if the Commission didn’t knowingly neglect its legally binding duty for more than five years.

As far as we know, the Commission is determined to proceed with all of its plans at all costs, in shortest possible time. If we want to stop these plans, we need every voice. What you can do?

  • Contact your Minister of Interior and Minister of Justice, and ask them to file reservation about the Directive, which would be based on fact that only harmonization of deactivation standards will have some positive security impact, while the rest is just infringing on law-abiding citizens’ rights.
  • Contact your Members of European Parliament and ask them to oppose this Directive for aforementioned reasons.
  • Join your national gun rights association. Remember that to support this important civil right, you don’t have to actually be gun owner.
  • Should the Directive proposal be passed anyway, be prepared to disobey it. Yes. If the Commission wants to punish law-abiding citizens not only for terrorists’ crimes, but also for its own negligence, incompetence and failure to follow its legal duties, we have every right to stop being law-abiding and say civil but firm NO. We are not criminals nor terrorists. We are honest folks who keep weapons for protection of our lives, lives of our loved ones, and for defense of our countries. We have moral right to disobey and resist this injustice. I believe that if we stand united against this bureaucratic pressure, we shall prevail in the end.


  1. avatar Mack Bolan says:


    Depose your pro EU leaders, close your borders, remove the foreign invaders from your lands and reclaim your rights as a sovereign nation and peoples.

    1. avatar Joe R. says:

      Don’t even say “Leaders”. They are just your a-hole neighbors who need jobs. Not a country on the planet is yet governed by ‘aliens’ or robots. All countries are governed by people, there is only one kind of those and you don’t become a more noble creature by joining the set of people who work for “government”.

      Contrary to stupid statements you may hear repeated ad infinitum, Mankind does not need, nor want, to be “lead” we elect local representatives to tell groups of our neighbors who have ganged up and called themselves gov’t, that we don’t want or need an bs ‘leadership’ from them either, we just need them to do a few stupid errands for us.

      If your a-hole neighbors needing jobs are attempting to disarm you, it is only because they need to do that before they can accomplish some other form of oppression on you. And their bs excuse that it’s for your protection is the obvious tell because no one but you (and maybe not even you at times) can protect you on and individual level.

      1. avatar Stuki Moi says:

        Shame you’re just a Joe, and not The Joe The Plumber. You’d make a good President.

    2. avatar Bungameng says:

      Actually, unlike the USA, EU does have a process for the states that wish to leave the union. So, no real need to “depose”, all it takes is a simple democratic national decision. Something that the UK will be deciding next year.

  2. avatar dph says:

    After the guns they’ll want the knives, then the bats, rocks, pointy sticks and pieces of volcanic glass. “For the children”

  3. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    +1 Marc-but I support you guys. Sounds like a nice place to visit.

  4. avatar AaronW says:

    > and our sport shooters rarely return from Olympic Games

    God Bless hard returns, cause
    I nearly didn’t see the “without any medals” part.

  5. avatar mark bennett says:

    I have already asked for people to support our struggle sign here to help us.


  6. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    The last bullet point says it all.

    1. avatar california richard says:


  7. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

    That’s a f*cking gorgeous rifle pictured. I need one of those in my life.

    1. avatar Sixpack70 says:

      I’m own a VZ58 Clone that is tacticooled out. But, I am buying a VZ58 wood and beaver barf kit to build in the future. Those rifles just look great and are a blast to shoot! If you can build an AK, then snag a kit or two. If not, check out Czech Small Arms.

    2. avatar JasonM says:

      I’ve got one. It’s really nice. Much better than an AK. And if you like the classic plasti-wood look, they have all the parts to pop on.

  8. avatar travis m. says:

    “Alarm guns” isn’t a universal term, in North America, they are known as “starter pistols.” There should probably be a note with a bracket around it so that people know what the writer means. Not quite a typo…

  9. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

    I hate to be the one to point out the obvious, but the Paris attacks have about as much to do with these proposed rules as the assassination of Franz Ferdinand had with the Kaiser’s invasion of Belgium.

    1. avatar Mark Bennett says:

      ”I hate to be the one to point out the obvious, but the Paris attacks have about as much to do with these proposed rules as the assassination of Franz Ferdinand had with the Kaiser’s invasion of Belgium…. ”

      Liked that… In that outcome it was the state that murdered millions not the individuals…

      1. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

        Yes, I believe in that conflagration the score was Individuals – 2, States – 19,000,000.

  10. avatar Craig says:

    Go Czechs!

  11. avatar Noah says:

    Headed to Czech in 2 days! CZ factory tour, Christmas market, and some range time are all in the agenda! Can’t wait!

    1. avatar CZ Guy says:

      Noah, that’s awesome! Im going to try and go there and tour the factory someday…let us know how it went when you get back! Safe travels…. The birthplace of all my beloved CZ’s….

  12. avatar Ed says:

    At least now I know where to move to if that old raggity bitch or that wacko socialist gets elected.

    1. avatar Steve Clark says:

      You won’t stay and help us fight?

  13. avatar Tom w/a Glock says:

    Since I have a couple of CZ pistols, and currently lust after a CZ Mannlicher-stock rifle, I salute you and your country.
    And my hunting rifles are those terrible, evil, black rifles with all those evil features that make Diane Feinstein’s soul cry out in pain from the inner circles of hell (except the shoulder thingy that goes up, cause I don’t want/need that).
    Give ’em what for. The spirit of SGT York watches over us all.

  14. avatar Geoff PR says:

    Suppressors are OTC in Europe, perhaps they can be used to convince those politicians that attempting to disarm the population may be met with… Resistance.

  15. avatar LarryinTX says:

    Any chance we could get the constitution amended in time to elect this guy Prez next year?

  16. avatar Scoutino says:

    Don’t get excited yet! Martin Z. forgot to mention some little details while describing CZ gun laws.
    Like total registation of all firearms, or that not only part of firearm with serial number (usually the frame or receiver) needs background check to buy. Barrels, revolver cylinders, pistol slides and other “main parts” can’t be just ordered and sent to customer, not mentioning full AR uppers.
    No legal home building eighter, forget 80% lowers.
    To get the shall issue CCL you have to jump trough lots of hoops, for example getting your doctor’s affidavit that you are able in both body and mind to carry a gun and paying for it.
    If we faced threat of implementing Czech rules here in US we would not like it one bit and I believe we would fight against it tooth and nail.
    Is Czech Republic better than most of EU as far as gun laws go? Sure, but it is far from great.
    I signed the petition. Preju vam hodne zdaru pri jednani proti komisi EU.

    1. avatar Martin says:

      I’m neither forgetting nor trying to hide those facts. I’ve actually mentioned them (and my dislike for them) a few times elsewhere on TTAG. I’m not the author of that letter, I’ve never met him person etc.
      But it struck me that TTAG is a good place to make that voice heard and to help draw attention of other European readers here to effforts they might not be aware of yet, so I wrote an email to TTAG and asked them to publish it, something I’m grateful for.

    2. avatar Bungameng says:

      > needs background check to buy
      -Not really, you need a license. Once you have that, it depends whether you want C-class gun (basically any single shot or bolt action rifles longer than 280 mm) or B-class gun (semi-autos). For C-class, you are fine with just presenting the license to the seller. For B-class, it’s the same apart from frame, barrel and slide – these are considered main parts of gun and require permit (shall issue, takes 5 minutes at police station to get).

      > total registation of all firearms
      -That is, unfortunately, true.

      >To get the shall issue CCL you have to jump trough lots of hoops, for example getting your doctor’s affidavit that you are able in both body and mind to carry a gun and paying for it.
      -True, but I am not sure if it is “a lot of hoops”. It takes 20 minutes and 20 bucks. If you have mental history, doctor will send you to get your psychiatrist’s/psychologist’s approval. It is not perfect but it helps keep legal guns out of hands of most unstable people.

      >If we faced threat of implementing Czech rules here in US we would not like it one bit and I believe we would fight against it tooth and nail.
      -There are already parts of US that have it much worse. Basically the only thing staying in your way in the Czech Republic is getting the license first – which takes as much effort as driving license and is shall issue. After that, all is obtainable, including full-autos (albeit on may-issue basis). NO GUN FREE ZONES apart from those where you go through metal detectors manned by armed guards (basically only court houses). Pistol too little? Don’t worry, CCing SBRs is also legal.

  17. avatar Chris T from KY says:

    Libertarians and socialist both agree. Nations should not have guarded borders. Killers and rapist should be able to travel as they please.

    In this ” collective view of government ” the denial of guns rights is just part of the deal. One part of the big European government wants to force it’s view on a minority society, the Czech people.
    They have lost their individuality when they formed this super state.

    Libertarians have said government should be as small as possible. But they do support a super size government that allows them to travel to several different societies without those societies knowing they are there. Just like the terrorist do.

    Many people who were against the Iraq war said you can’t force freedom on people who have no history or understanding of it. Yet those same anti war people would allow anti freedom immigrants into their society. Including murderers.

    I pray that the Czech people can succeed in defending their civil rights against people who like to travel without a passport.

    1. avatar Craig says:

      Do you seriously think a border checkpoint and passport can protect a nation?

      It’s all security theater that will keep the average stoner from transporting substances across a border or from Americans carrying into Canada. Serious smugglers can get past anything.

      It’s like a 4473 – criminals don’t follow the law, whether there’s a solid fence or piece of paper or not. I’m quite sure squad cars watch both sides of a border in the EU, just like how our state police forces watch the interstate.

      Keep in mind, the only internal security we have in the US on interstate highways is the state police force of the state in question and toll booths…

      1. avatar Bungameng says:

        The difference is that if you are illegal in US, that is it, you are illegal in US. Of course border checks make little sense if those who get through illegally are allowed to stay.

        If you are illegal in the Czech Republic, any contact with authorities ends up in deportation. Unless you file for asylum within 7 days of entering the country.

    2. avatar Stuki Moi says:

      Killers and rapists are both far superior to government apparatchiks. The former you can just shoot if they try to ply their trades on you and yours. Or at least you could, if it wasn’t for the latter preventing you from doing so………..

      Libertarians who can read are also known as anarchists. Or at least well along the path to enlightenment. No “super size” anything there. If you’re scared of being raped and killed; arm your bloody self. And stay away from company you don’t trust. Cheap and universal good advice. Which doesn’t require cheering on scum to trample all over the rights of others.

      1. avatar Chris T from KY says:

        I’m glad to hear you think the suicide bombers who have murdered hundreds of people with a single explosion are worse than an American politician.

        And that you as a libertarian believe they have a right to come here. Thank for your honesty.

        1. avatar samuraichatter says:

          I cannot speak for all libertarians but many believe that once government gets involved in the myriads of things it should not be involved in (current U.S. federal gov. as an example) many of the proper, and historic functions of government fall by the wayside – like border enforcement. It’s up there with weights & measures and currency. Government should do certain things. Free phones – no. Enforced borders – yes.

        2. avatar Stuki Moi says:

          Your safety have little to do with “who” is “worse”, as in meaner. Instead, it comes down which threat is easiest to handle. In even the vilest of societies, good guys outnumber bad ones 100 to 1. Hence, individual “killers and rapists” isn’t really that big a threat to a properly armed and cognizant population. Governments, on the other hand, are a much harder threat to deal with.

          Consider waking up at night to hear some rapist crawling around your house looking for your wife and daughter. Bad enough, but something you can generally deal with. Now, imagine being Randy Weaver and waking up to the bloody FBI blasting away at your family. Whole different ballgame, and not nearly as tractable.

          Any government powerful enough to “keep you safe” from “killers and rapists,” will necessarily be powerful enough to Ruby Ridge you any time they want to. A thousand manageable evils, is definitionally preferable to even one unmanageable one.

          It is also not about “having the right to come here.” But rather that the only means suggested for preventing people from moving freely, is to create a concentrated power structure that represents a bigger threat than the individuals you are so concerned about in the first place.

    3. avatar Indiana Tom says:

      Libertarians have said government should be as small as possible. But they do support a super size government ….since when?

      1. avatar Chris T from KY says:

        Indiana Tom

        Is the government big enough to crush a Christian bakery for you?

    4. avatar int19h says:

      >> But they do support a super size government that allows them to travel to several different societies without those societies knowing they are there.

      This doesn’t even make any sense.

      People could travel to different societies without those societies knowing that they are there for most of human history, and for a good half of American history. What the fuck does a “super sized government” have to do with it all?

      1. avatar Chris T from KY says:

        You need to check out the writers at Reason Magazine. Matt Welch has been very supportive of the great big European super state that let’s him travel without a passport.

  18. avatar Magister says:

    Makes me proud of my czech lineage, and my love of CZ guns.

  19. avatar Stinkeye says:

    “…the fact that even Paris massacres could be prevented if the Commission didn´t knowingly neglect its legally binding duty for more than five years.”

    Sorry, but no. There is no gun control law, either on the books, or proposed, that can prevent a sufficiently-motivated person from obtaining a gun in any non-totalitarian society. Had the commission enforced its rules scrupulously and prevented the terrorists from being able to obtain the particular guns they did, they would have found another black-market source, of which there are plenty. Even if they couldn’t obtain guns, they would use bombs, or arson, or drive a truck through a restaurant, or arm a dozen guys with machetes, or whatever.

    Words on paper cannot prevent violence.

  20. avatar Frank says:

    I’m sorry to hear this, although they saw what our individual States got away with banning after the FARCE that was our Sand Hook shooting, as this shooting had more holes in it then good Swiss cheese! (Youtube it if you have not a clue as to what I’m talking about) UK and Australia also got away with their gun bans after their questionable at best so called mass shootings. It seems to be a trend nowadays to erase the freedoms that we once had so the NWO can move in and take the rest of what little freedoms we have left, making us finally into the the slaves they most certainly want us to be.

  21. avatar Binder says:

    Flat out none of these laws would have stopped the shootings. I really don’t think anything other than intelligence identifying the attackers before it happened would have stopped it. It may have taken on a slightly different form, but it would not have been stopped. The only thing that would really have helped after it started would have been an immediate armed response, but we all know the chances of that happening.

  22. avatar Salty Bear says:

    “In our republic, ownership and carrying of firearms is truly right, guaranteed by law for any adult, legally competent and law-abiding person. Firearms license is shall-issue (anyone who fulfills requirements of the law has legal right to get it). Permit to own B – category firearm is shall-issue, as well as permit for concealed carry.”

    Doesn’t seem to understand what a right is.

    1. avatar Indiana Tom says:

      Many Europeans who figured out what a right is went to the USA in the past.

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