Czech Republic Makes it Easier for Cops to Seize Guns

CZ Scorpion Evo 3 S1 (courtesy The Truth About Guns)

“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, 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.

Net positive?


  1. avatar jwm says:

    The czech’s are better off, gun law wise, than a lot of europe. maybe they’ll be able to hold off becoming part of the new Euro Islamo Republic.

    1. avatar ThomasR says:

      I’d say it will more likely be the new euro-Islamo Caliphate.

      1. avatar SteveInCO says:

        Though it makes little practical difference (Sharia is still sharia) you’re probably right.

    2. avatar Bob H says:

      You’ve hit the proverbial nail on the head. Islamic migration is 100% the reason for the increase in gun permit applications imo.

  2. avatar SteveInCO says:

    Uherský Brod, for anyone who didn’t notice, is where CZ is headquartered (hence “CZUB”).

    1. avatar tmm says:

      Yes, I believe so.

      ČZUB was established on 27 June 1936 as a branch of the Česká zbrojovka Strakonice armament firm in the small Moravian town of Uherský Brod in Czechoslovakia, now in the Czech Republic.

      Throughout the Cold War ČZUB manufactured a wide variety of military small arms including the Sa vz. 58 assault rifle, the Škorpion vz. 61 submachine gun, various .22 caliber training and target rifles and the very successful CZ 75 family of pistols.

      In 1991 the Czech weapons factories were “de-centralized” and began business as free market companies. In 1992, Česká zbrojovka a.s.(PLC), Uherský Brod became private, moving into the free world economy and eventually establishing a small arms presence in over 90 countries.

  3. avatar Ralph says:

    The Czechs will be dragged into the entire EU-Islamo sewer sooner or later. Sorry, guys, but you are either pro- or anti-EU. There’s no middle ground. And pro-EU means anti-sovereignty.

    Don’t forget to kiss your bosses bustles in Brussels. They love that kind of stuff.

    1. avatar peirsonb says:

      Sovereignty? Isn’t that one of those evil ideas we’re not supposed to believe in anymore?

      1. avatar Hasdrubal says:

        Headline on Drudge right now is KERRY DECLARES: ‘BORDERLESS WORLD’

        Welcome to the future- and a brave new world it is.

    2. avatar Martin says:

      You mean the same way you either have constitutional carry or you will inevitably end up in a Californistan-style gun hell or worse?

    3. avatar Jimbo says:

      The EU is going to collapse next year when England votes to succeed. Germany has been pulling back their gold reserves for the past five to follow suit once England sets the precedence. Image the ripples that’s going to cause on the world economy.

  4. avatar Pwrserge says:

    Well, good luck to the Chechs. With all the muzrats swarming into Europe, they are going to need it.

  5. avatar FormerWaterWalker says:

    Well golly gee it seems the Czechs are still better than lots of states here. 290000 permits seems pretty good for a small central European nation. I hope it continues but I think Europe is close to collapsing-hello anti-Christ…

  6. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    The existing criteria are strict enough, adding that only half of applicants passed the necessary test.
    Anybody know why half are failing the necessary test?

    1. avatar Mustrum says:

      Tom That is a very good point.
      My grandfather was Harvard Law school class of 1900 and I well recall him telling me in the 1950s (his practice had him presenting cases before the US Supreme court in the 1930s and 40s) that any law that was passed in reaction to a a high profile event (I think it might have been the attack on the Vice Presidents residence by the nationalists from Porto Rico that engendered the conversation) is inevitably a bad law. the Freedom Act passed after 911 drove his point home to me in a way that has kept it in the front of my brain ever since

      1. avatar Hannibal says:

        Podcaster Dan Carlin often recommends that, in times of peace, we pass a ‘cooling off period’ (like a waiting period for guns) for legislation where congress can’t pass things like the patriot act right after a terrorist event.

        I think it’s not a workable idea but I get the point of it

        1. avatar BDub says:

          I be happy if ALL legislation had a sunset date attached to it, that required it to be passed again, again.

          It would accomplish two things – 1) unpopular laws could just be allowed to expire with less political fall-out, and it circumvents legislation’s tendency to never get repealed once passed. 2) It would naturally cut down on the shear number of new laws getting added to the books because of the natural weight of sunset dates.

    2. avatar Petr says:

      The test is half theoretical – 30 single-answer questions from a published set of ~500. Almost everybody passes that.

      Then there is the practical part, mostly about safe gun handling. You get a pistol and a narrow safe direction. You need to show how you make the weapon clear. How you field strip and assemble it. How you clear a malfunction (usually FTE or hangfire).
      During all that, if you stray off the safe direction, you are out (you can get a first warning for a small error). If your finger gets near the trigger when it shouldn’t, you’re out. Mistakes that aren’t safety-related aren’t that severe. People who want a weapon for sport or hunting are also tested with a bolt-action 22 and a double barrel shotgun.

      After that, there is a pretty easy shooting test that most people pass. Safety rules are still observed and people can fail on that.

    3. avatar MintMar says:

      Some of them are just too confident of themselves and they fail the paper test described by Petr above. Which is surprising since there are webs with all the questions and all sets of answers (correct + incorrect) and possibility to take a fake test set or test yourself against bigger subset or all the test questions. Free of charge and repeatedly. You will then lose all the money you paid and if you want to repeat, you have to wait 3 months.

      Some then fail on practical part, which is first the safe manipulation and any question the examiner may have. There is no real ruleset for the examiner so he may even try to make you fail the test – it’s all up to him. So some are reported as being good and nice guys and few being a really nasty guys. But the mostly the people fail the safe manipulation exam because of their own fault – finger on a trigger, racking the slide with the magazine inside the gun, etc.

      Few people fail the last part, shooting at the static target, which is in various distances for various type of guns and for various types of permit. But mostly the self defence and work permit type applicants have it most difficult – but not really difficult: you have to hit the international pistol target with three rounds at 15 meters in 2 minutes so that all hits are in the circles. Yep, some people are too nervous or just unprepared so they don’t hit the target. They can either repeat this part in a month or they can repeat that day after all applicants had their try. Some do fail the second attempt so they have to repeat after 3 months.

      But if you get not-nasty examiner and had a good instructor and shot enough beforehand (I shot over 1000 rounds from various weapons), you pass the test. And if you are deemed healthy to wield a gun both physically and psychically and have a good background check in the crime department, then you get your permit. Which in case of self defence is always and only CCW.

  7. avatar Rooster says:

    I wonder what historic or cultural differences their are between the Czech Republic and the rest of Europe that might explain their unique attitude towards guns.

    1. avatar Indiana Tom says:

      My best guess is the same as Switzerland or Austria; in that private gun ownership makes small countries less digestible to big countries. Other small countries do have strict gun control but they are wishfully thinking that some other larger country will bail them out when they are in danger of getting eaten.

      1. avatar Mustrum says:

        Tom That is a very good point.
        My grandfather was Harvard Law school class of 1900 and I well recall him telling me in the 1950s (his practice had him presenting cases before the US Supreme court in the 1930s and 40s) that any law that was passed in reaction to a a high profile event (I think it might have been the attack on the Vice Presidents residence by the nationalists from Porto Rico that engendered the conversation) is inevitably a bad law. the Freedom Act passed after 911 drove his point home to me in a way that has kept it in the front of my brain ever since

        1. avatar Timmy! says:

          Whoa! Deja vu!

    2. avatar Milsurp Collector says:

      Czechs were brutally occupied by both Nazis and Commies in less than a decade, the latter proceeding to fvck up their country for another 40+ years. Funny how the Czechs learned from their experiences and became the Arizonans of Europe, while Poland suffered the same historical events and to this day maintains one of the lowest gun-ownership rates on the continent.

    3. avatar MintMar says:

      Since we got occupied by the brown and then red brothers who all grabbed guns, I guess the gun laws in our country is an expression of freedom from those times. It doesn’t explain why other countries in the combloc didn’t do that, true.

  8. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    The minister of the interior, Milan Chovanec,
    Chovanec must be a common name over there as I know some Chovanecs in America whose ancestors came from Czech or Slovakia.

  9. avatar wright says:

    I hope they can put up a good resistance to the Islamic invasion.

    1. avatar Petr says:

      It seems most of the immigrants don’t like it in the Czech republic. We don’t complain.

  10. avatar Stinkeye says:

    It would seem that the headline is a little premature, if “approvals from the upper house and president are still needed.” Perhaps “Czech Legislature Trying To Make It Easier For Cops To Seize Guns” is a more accurate reflection of the story.

  11. avatar Petr says:

    A large part of the lower house was opposed to this part of the law, mostly with constitutional arguments, also arguing that the police already has the right if they suspect an imminent crime. An amendment was under vote that would remove this part from the law. It failed by one vote (73 to 74). The upper house may still do something about that.

    One member of parliament suggested an amendment that would make psychological exams a compulsory part of the physical exam people must take when they apply or renew their license. That was overwhelmingly dismissed and voted out. The renewal period was also to be reduced from 10 to 5 years, which was taken out.

    One large benefit of the new law is removing a horrible clause from the current laws – The government currently has the right, during a time of national crisis, to order the confiscation of all legally owned weapons or forbid carry. That had to be removed.

    Another small benefit is removing laser sights from prohibited accessories. There was no reason why it should be prohibited in the first place.

    1. avatar Petr says:

      The bulk of the bill deals with high volume munitions storage. There was an explosion of a munitions depot in the last year and apparently the law needed a rewrite in this area. My knowledge is limited in this field, though.

  12. avatar js says:

    Perhaps the headline is true. And perhaps most Americans don’t realize how much more professional and less intimidating the cops are in free countries. (And thus how unlikely that additional power will be abused.)

    Yeah, I said it. As someone that has traveled extensively, there are very few places where seeing a cop piques my concern. Except for at home, of course.

  13. avatar bryan1980 says:

    I’ve always had a lot of respect for the Czechs; it’s a country of skeptics who actually think for themselves instead of blindly swallowing whats given to them by the powers-that-be, unlike the rest of Europe. I sincerely hope it remains that way in the future.

  14. avatar Libertarian says:

    The only shall issue ccw county we have in euddssr here, an rarity.
    To bad to see they start decrasing liberty 🙁

    1. avatar Bungameng says:

      There is also Estonia. Although they have the weird “no round in chamber” rule in their CCW laws.

      Otherwise, not-so-long ago very permissive may-issue CC permit countries – Austria and Slovakia – are next-to-impossible now.

  15. avatar Bungameng says:

    It should be noted that this proposal infringes on constitutional rights as it allows police to enter without a warrant, based only on “well grounded suspicion” that the person is mentally unhealthy.

    The person then has one month to get a stamp from a shrink of his own choice saying that he is OK to get the guns back (if the proposal is passed).

    I do honestly believe that it is only a matter of time before it is thrown out by the constitutional court. We may not have constitutionally protected right to be armed (yet), but our courts are quite fierce when it comes to those that are enacted.

    Meanwhile, just yesterday, Czech constitutional court invalidated 4 years imprisonment sentence of a man (an immigrant from Kosovo), who shot a SWAT member through the door as the policemen were trying to break through into his house at 4 in the morning in order to conduct a court-warranted house search (he thought they are thieves).

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