PRAGUE — Czech politicians are inclined to boast that their nation is without doubt one of the most secure on the earth from gun violence. However the worst mass killing within the nation’s historical past this week — together with different shootings during the last decade — counsel that may not be true.
On the School of Arts division at Charles College, the place 14 individuals had been killed and dozens wounded Thursday, the shooter was a superb pupil, police stated. However the 24-year-old additionally had a proclivity for firearms, with a license to personal eight weapons, together with two lengthy weapons, police stated.
Authorities stated the lone assailant had no prison file and subsequently didn’t appeal to the eye of authorities.
“This type of assault is absolutely exhausting to stop,” Inside Minister Vit Rakusan stated Friday.
The shooter, who killed himself as police closed in, is believed to have been Czech. Police chief Tomas Vondrasek stated officers discovered an arsenal of weapons with a number of ammunition that the suspect needed to carry unnoticed to the college constructing earlier than opening fireplace.
The Czech Republic can hardly be in comparison with the US however its gun laws is taken into account liberal in Europe after changing restrictions below the totalitarian communist regime that was ousted within the 1989 Velvet Revolution.
In 2021, the Parliament amended the Structure’s Constitution of Elementary Rights and Freedoms to provide individuals a proper to defend themselves or others with a gun. That transfer, adopted after greater than 100,000 individuals signed a petition in help, signifies that the best can’t be restricted by a separate legislation.
Within the nation of 10.9 million, 314,000 individuals had a gun license by the top of final yr and owned nearly one million varied weapons.
To get a license, individuals must be a Czech resident, be older than 21 (that doesn’t apply for sports activities and searching), be in good well being, mentally accountable, dependable and and not using a prison file. Written and sensible assessments, together with capturing at a goal, are additionally a part of the process.
However as soon as an individual meets all the necessities, the authorities who preserve the information need not inform police concerning the numbers of weapons individuals have, Ales Strach, a senior Prague police officer stated Friday.
When requested at a information convention the way it’s attainable the suspect had such quite a few weapons, Tomas Kubik, a deputy police chief stated: “We should work out if it’s a results of a flaw within the system or human error.”
In the meantime, the nation’s gun legislation is perhaps tightened quickly, independently of what occurred on Thursday.
The Parliament has been debating an modification to the gun and ammunition legislation that makes it attainable for authorities to grab a weapon from personal house owners for a preventive cause. It features a requirement for companies to report back to police suspicious purchases of weapons and ammunition and provides physician entry to databases to seek out out if their sufferers are gun house owners.
Rakusan, the inside minister, known as it “a tragic paradox” however avoided suggesting the proposed modifications would have prevented Thursday’s killing.
“If somebody is set to do it, even the very best laws couldn’t stop it,” he stated.
Police stated the Charles College assailant is suspected in a separate case of killing a father and his 2-month-old daughter on the japanese fringe of Prague on Dec. 15. He’s additionally believed to have killed his personal father earlier than arriving on the college.
Thursday’s mass killing was not the Czech Republic’s solely such capturing over the previous decade. A person opened fireplace throughout lunchtime in a restaurant within the southeastern city of Uhersky Brod in 2015, killing eight earlier than he fatally shot himself.
4 years later, one other gunman fatally shot six individuals and wounded three others at a hospital within the japanese metropolis of Ostrava earlier than killing himself.
“I firmly imagine that such excesses are extraordinary and received’t repeat,” Prague mayor Bohuslav Svoboda instructed the Czech public tv on Friday.