Czech police to give briefing on shooting as govt. gears up for gun law debate

Police are set to brief the public on the most tragic shooting incident in Czech history next week; a round table on gun legislation is also planned.


Written by ČTK Published on 04.01.2024 10:09:00 (updated on 04.01.2024) Reading time: 2 minutes

The Czech Police Internal Affairs Department is investigating all aspects of the Dec. 21 shooting at the Faculty of Arts of Charles University in Prague, Interior Minister Vít Rakušan told reporters Wednesday, adding that police will hold an extraordinary briefing on the shooting next week.

The attack inside the faculty building in the center of Prague was the most tragic shooting incident in Czech history.

Rakušan said police have dealt with 96 cases related to the approval of the tragic shooting so far. According to him, these acts constituted crimes.

Rakušan briefed the government yesterday on the police response and said the cabinet appreciated the swift and effective intervention as well as the bravery and composure of those at the faculty.

"At next week's briefing, police will answer all individual questions that have arisen in media reports. Some have been gradually disproven as rumors and lies emerged," Rakušan said.

"Another sad aspect is follow-up incidents in the public sphere that somehow glorify the attacker and the act itself. Police are intervening very vigorously, addressing issues and publicizing deterrent actions," he noted.

Next week, a roundtable on firearm possession legislation will be held in the Chamber of Deputies, where a draft amendment is to take effect in early 2026.

The draft currently under discussion in the lower house would empower police to preemptively seize guns based on security intelligence, links to extremist groups or threats of violence on social media, Rakušan said.

"In a broader context, we will consider how and within what timeframes something else could be modified in Czech firearm legislation," he added.

Rakušan said the crucial issue now is to help those affected by the tragic attack. The website of the National Institute of Mental Health has a section with support materials for victims and the public, a crisis team is working at Charles University, and police and other forces are assisting the rectorate and faculty management.

The deputy prime minister has asked the public and media to verify the sources of any information they report.

A gunman killed 13 people in the faculty building on Jan Palach Square in Prague on Dec. 21, with a 14th victim later dying in hospital. Another 25 people were injured, some very seriously.

Police say the shooter was a 24-year-old faculty student from Central Bohemia. He committed suicide after the mass shooting. In his home, police found a letter in which he confessed to the Dec. 15 double murder in the Klánovice forest on the eastern outskirts of Prague.

While police will not confirm additional information, a report by Czech news site iDnes has revealed additional details about how the shooter financed his supply of firearms while indicating that he had attended a shooting course.

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