Czech lawmakers to tackle gun ownership red tape in proposed amendment

An electronic entry in a registry would mean that gun owners no longer need to carry a license and permits. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 22.05.2023 10:06:00 (updated on 22.05.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

The Czech gun law may soon become more streamlined. The government is looking at making it sufficient for gun owners to have an electronic authorization in the central weapons registry, so they would no longer need to carry physical permits or licenses.

The amendment to the Law on Arms and Ammunition, drafted by the Interior Ministry, will be discussed by the government on Wednesday. The proposal also contains other innovations, such as introducing another category of weapons and simplifying the structure of weapons authorizations, according to ČTK.

Gun owners would have several options for proving authorization. In addition to the electronic route, it also leaves more conservative options, such as issuing firearm certificates at public administration contact points.

In the Czech system, a person needs to obtain a gun license to be able to own weapons, and a permit for each weapon. To have a license, a person must show practical knowledge of how guns operate, understand laws and safety rules, and pass a medical exam. Permits are obtained each time the license holder wants to buy an actual weapon.

Streamlined structure of categories

According to the proposal, a new "intermediate category" of weapons should also be introduced, for which notification will be required, but the conditions for their possession will be simplified. The category includes, for example, some types of manually loaded single-shot or double-shot weapons, alarm or signal weapons, or gas weapons with a caliber greater than 6.35 mm.

The structure of existing firearms permits and licenses would be simplified. The five types of permit would be reduced to two, and the 10 types of license would be reduced to three.

Changes for ammunition ownership

The Interior Ministry is also submitting a change to the Ammunition Act. It would abolish physical documents such as an ammunition card or license and set stricter conditions for obtaining and holding a license. If passed by parliament and signed by the president, both laws should take effect on Jan. 1, 2026.

In the Czech Republic, 314,039 people had a firearms license last year, which is 5,049 more than in 2021. The number of registered weapons rose by 53,281 to 989,348. Interest in weapons has been growing in recent years. In 2020, 307,372 residents of the Czech Republic held firearms licenses. There were 900,087 registered weapons.

News server reported that gun ownership among women has been increasing and that the conflict in Ukraine has also increased the interest of civilians in gun ownership.  

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