Senate passes bill on firearms possession


The Senate has passed a government bill tightening criteria for the possession of firearms in the Czech Republic as of January 1, 2009. The aim is to lower the risk of legally-held weapons being used in crimes. The legislation also toughens criteria for those seeking a gun licence, said to disqualify individuals with histories of heavy alcohol or drug abuse. Punishment for crimes involving firearms as well as stricter controls on defunct weapons are also part of the bill, as are requirements to report the transport of large numbers of firearms and ammunition. In past cases, firearms that had been written off were later found to still be functional and in illegal use. In order to come into effect, the legislation must now be signed by the president.