Czech President Milos Zeman wants Europe to put more guns in the hands of the people to combat terrorism.
Zeman addressed the Council of Europe Tuesday to answer questions about the state of the continent. Zeman has pushed for gun rights in his own country, and he believes the rest of the continent should follow suit.
“What can we do against international criminality? Invest in the police, invest in the army and have the courage to invest in our own guns,” Zeman said. “My wife has a pistol. Of course, she passed all necessary tests, but now I am guarded by my wife, and not only by bodyguards.”
Zeman proposed a system similar to the U.S. with background checks and necessary tests prior to gun purchases.
“The Second Amendment to the American constitution says that everybody has the right to have a weapon — of course they must fullfil the necessary conditions and tests,” Zeman said. “We Europeans are a little more careful than the Americans, but after [the terror attack in] Barcelona and many assassinations, I think that the difference between Europeans and Americans is not so great.”
The European Parliament passed a new directive to limit access to semi-automatic weapons earlier this year in response to terrorism. The Czech Republic has simultaneously moved to make guns more accessible for the very same the reason.
Czech Interior Minister Milan Chovanec argues the EU directive is too harsh and the country took legal action against the EU in August. (RELATED: Czech Republic Takes Legal Action Against EU’s Attempt To Restrict Gun Rights)
“Such a massive punishment of decent arms holders is unacceptable, because banning legally-held weapons has no connection with the fight against terrorism,” Chovanec said in a statement regarding the lawsuit, according to Reuters. “This is not only a nonsensical decision once again undermining people’s trust in the EU, but implementing the directive could also have a negative impact on the internal security of the Czech Republic, because a large number of weapons could move to the black market.”
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