The number of licensed firearm holders in Czechia grew in 2022

Interest in gun ownership has been rising over the past years, according to new data released this week by the Czech police. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 08.02.2023 13:00:00 (updated on 08.02.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Prague, Feb 7 (ČTK) - The number of people holding a firearm license in the Czech Republic increased last year, as did the number of registered guns.

New data released by the Czech police this week shows that the number of firearms licenses grew to 314,039 last year, 5,049 more than in 2021. The number of registered guns rose by 53,281 to 989,348.

The interest in gun ownership has been rising over the past years. In 2020, 307,372 Czech citizens held a firearm license and there were 900,087 guns legally registered in Czechia.

While police do not keep a register of confiscated guns possessed illegally, statistics show that the number of illegal firearms has also jumped. Last year, 402 cases qualified as illegal possession of weapons compared to 314 in 2021 and 382 in 2020.

In 2021, the Czech Weapons Act went into effect under which Illegally-held firearms could be surrendered to the Czech police without fear of repercussion. As an alternative to turning guns over to police, amnesty also allows holders to legally register their weapons. A valid gun license, along with proof that the weapon wasn't stolen or used to commit a crime, is required to do so.

QUICK TIP|Read more about gun ownership regulations for foreigners in Czechia on the Ministry of Interior site.

In Czechia, only those with a gun license are allowed to hold a gun, with the exception of those guns that don't require registration with the police (air rifles and historic guns, for example).

In order to obtain a gun license, applicants must have a clean criminal record and must be physically and mentally eligible as determined by a medical professional.

The Czech Republic is the only country in Europe where people have a constitutional right to own a gun to defend their own life and the lives of others. The right is relatively recent, though, and was added only last year in an effort to protect hunters and other gun owners from increasingly stricter EU rules.

The foreign media has recently touted Czech gun laws as a model for U.S. gun regulation.

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