President of the Czech Republic, Milos Zeman, has urged his country's citizens to arm themselves to fight terrorists. Zeman's call is consistent with his remark made a few months ago that citizens should be ready to protect themselves against a possible "super-Holocaust" carried out by Muslim terrorists.
Reports also said that following the president's request, there was a noticeable spike in the purchase of guns in the European nation. A shop-owner in East Bohemia said the people in the Czech Republic were scared of a "wave of Islamists", a local newspaper reported. There are fewer than 4,000 Muslims in the nation of 10 million.
The nation's interior ministry is now backing a change in the country's constitution to allow citizens to use arms against the terrorists.
Supporters of the change felt the law could help in saving lives if the police are unable to reach the crime scene on time during a terror attack. The article reported that for this to become a law, the parliament should approve the proposal by the ministry.
Reports also said that a vote will be called in the parliament in the coming months over the formulation of the law.
Same problem, different solutions
When most of Europe is looking for stringent gun laws in the wake of multiple terror attacks across the continent, the Czech Republic is seeking to loosen its gun policies further.
The nation already has one of the most lenient gun laws in Europe and has around 8,00,000 registered firearms and 3,00,000 people with gun licenses. It is fairly easy to get a gun in the Czech Republic: the applicant for a gun license should be at least of 21 years of age and above with no criminal record and must pass a gun-knowledge test.
After the 2015 terror attacks in Paris, France urged the European Union to come up with tougher policies for obtaining a gun in the region. The European Commission had initially proposed for a complete ban on the sale of certain weapons that are intended for military-use, like Kalashnikovs or AR-15s.
The proposal also called for a limit on ammunition magazines to 20 rounds or less. The Czech Republic, however, was strongly against the directive with the country's officials warning that it would limit the nation's ability to have "an internal security system".