Credit: Freepik

Number of Registered Firearms in The Czech Republic Exceeded One Million in 2023

The number of registered arms exceeded one million in 2023, increasing by about 3%, according to the data from Czech Police. The number of people with firearms licences increased by a similar amount.

Last year, 316,859 people had firearms licences, which is 2,820 more than in 2022. The licence holders owned a total of 1,016,786 guns, 27,438 more than in the previous year.

Interest in guns has been steadily growing in recent years. In 2020, there were 307,372 firearms licence holders in the country, and 900,087 registered weapons.

Public attention has focused on the possession of firearms following the shocking attack by a gunman who killed 14 people and injured 25 others in a university building in Prague shortly before Christmas. The 24-year-old student used arms he owned legally. Czech media subsequently reported that the shooter had been treated for psychological problems in the past.

In January, the lower house of parliament passed a new bill on weapons and ammunition that tightens some of the rules. Under this bill, which still needs to be passed by the Senate and signed by the president before becoming law, gun dealers must report suspicious customers, gun owners must undergo more frequent medical examinations, and weapons may be confiscated from owners on the grounds of security risks.

Police do not record the number of illegal weapons seized, but last year they recorded 380 offences classified as illegal possession of guns, according to published statistics.

Only those who hold a firearms licence may legally own and carry a firearm in the Czech Republic. An exception is made for weapons that are not subject to registration with a police department. The applicant must, among other things, have no criminal history, be legally competent, and also medically and professionally fit, as evidenced by expert assessment.

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