Italy Passes Salvini-Backed Self-Defence Law to Protect Homeowners

VICENZA, ITALY - FEBRUARY 9: Italian Interior Minister, Matteo Salvini is seen holding a B
Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images

The Italian Senate passed the new legitimate defence bill this week, liberalising the previous self-defence code and allowing citizens more options to protect their homes from burglars and other intruders.

The reform, which modifies article 52 of the Italian penal code, now allows Italians to use “a legitimately held weapon” to protect themselves and members of their household, making it far less likely individuals will be brought up on charges for defending themselves, Il Giornale reports.

The new changes were welcomed by populist Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Matteo Salvini, who has previously pushed hard for self-defence reform.

“It is a beautiful day for the Italians in which the sacrosanct right to self-defence is sanctioned,” Salvini said.

Previously, the Lega leader had even offered to pay the legal expenses of those brought up on criminal charges for using force to protect their homes.

“A thief comes into your house, company or store, and you defend yourself? It will be your right to do so, and the thug (and his relatives) will not be able to ask for a euro of compensation,” Salvini vowed.

“Besides, you won’t end up on trial for years and you won’t pay your own pocket: the state will cover any legal expenses of those who defended themselves.”

“From today the criminals know that to be a robber in Italy is more difficult: it is an even more dangerous job,” the League (Lega) leader observed

Around 4.5 million homes in Italy have access to firearms, according to figures released in June of last year.

33 million Italian homes have anti-theft doors, while 10 million or so have alarms and often video cameras as well.

The new policy marks a stark contrast to the United Kingdom, where it is alleged that home defence policies have made British homeowners easy targets — to the point where Chilean criminal gangs have been known to fly in to rob British homes in what has been dubbed “burglary tourism.”

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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