Czech Senate Approves Amendment Granting Right to Bear Arms in Constitution

A girl holds Czech flag while young boy
MICHAL CIZEK/AFP via Getty Images

The senate of the Czech Republic has approved adding a right to self-defence with a weapon to its Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms following a successful petition campaign.

A total of 54 of the 74 senators voted to amend the charter, surpassing the needed three-fifths majority of votes, and will become law once signed by Czech president Milos Zeman, who has previously expressed support for a European Second Amendment and is unable to veto the constitutional change in any case.

The new section of the charter will read, “the right to defend one’s own life or the life of another person with a weapon is guaranteed under the conditions laid down by law,” broadcaster Czech Radio reports.

The amendment comes after a successful petition campaign that saw over 102,000 signatories, including constitutional officials, demand that a right to bear arms in self-defence be added to the country’s constitution in response to European Union moves to put continent-wide limits on the ownership of firearms and other weapons.

While the Czech Republic has previously been forced to implement European Commission regulations on firearms, the constitutional change should now prevent any EU directives restricting the right to bear arms for citizens and residents of the country.

The European Commission has argued that restricting firearms was needed to fight terrorism, but critics noted that terrorists have been found to mainly use illegal weapons.

The Czech Republic has fought against EU pushes for gun control for years, and President Miloš Zeman has been an ardent supporter of the right to bear arms, signing the petition that led to the constitutional change in 2018.

Zeman outraged journalists the year prior after he brandished a fake rifle during a press conference with the words “for journalists” inscribed on the side of it, despite the fact the only “ammunition” it contained being Becherovka liquor.

Contrary to European Union bureaucrats, the Czech leader has argued that European citizens should have a right to bear arms to defend themselves against terrorists.

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


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