As the EU is about to enact the #EUGunBan and the Czech Republic will have general elections in 2017, Social Democratic Party (currently leading government coalition) has just announced that they will propose a constitutional amendment that shall protect the right to be armed. The proposed wording is clearly aimed at preserving the status quo in the country (firearms are accessible after gaining shall issue license first). "Občané ČR mají právo nabývat, držet a nosit zbraně a střelivo za účelem ochrany životů, zdraví a majetkových hodnot a podílet se tak na zajišťování vnitřního pořádku a bezpečnosti a ochraně územní celistvosti, svrchovanosti a demokratických základů ČR. Podmínky a podrobnosti stanoví zákon." "Citizens of the Czech Republic have the right to acquire, possess and carry firearms and ammunition for the purpose of protection of life, health and property and thus participate in the provision of internal order and security as well as of territorial integrity, sovereignty and democratic order of the Czech Republic. Terms and conditions shall be determined by a law. " Thanks to the EU, for the first time in history, gun laws will most probably become a major election issue. Here is my personal take on this: 3.75% of adult population are legal gun owners 2.75% of population have concealed carry license (US had less until 2010; this year the number significantly grew but we don't have any statistic yet) While in most of Europe, gun ownership may be understood with individual bounds - as sporting/hunting tools, here vast majority of gun owners own their firearms for self defense. I.e. they are understood as a family tool of safety (i.e. often a single family member has the license, but everyone has access to it within the household or understand guns as such). Also given that they are safety tools rather than hobby tools, the attitude to their possible ban is very different. The Dutch pretty fXXXXd up with their proposal that would lead to ban of all semi-autos, so not only those affected by actual new directive (now aiming at "black guns"), but also most other gun owners got concerned. I'll go on a limb and say that only 50% of gun owners feel strongly to the extent it will be single issue election for them. Meanwhile I'd say the same about 90% of CC holders (1). So we arrive at some 3.2% of population. Each one of them will directly influence at least 3 other people in the election, and at least half of them will go berserk and ask every and anyone close to them to support gun right vote (if not particular party, then at least choose the most pro-gun from those acceptable - Czech Republic is very, very far from US two party politics). That makes 10% of electorate. Typical elections have about 60% turnout, however this 10% will have much higher motivation. And thus I arrive at 15 - 25% of electorate choosing based on the gun ticket. Meanwhile the migration crisis made headlines like the one about the Dutch girl who got prosecuted for pepper spraying a migrant that tried to rape her. Headlines like this made it the first time I had people coming to me and asking me about the extent of gun rights in different EU countries, and a lot of general population simply being dumbstruck by the fact that in most of EU people are by law barred from exercising effective self defense. There may be only 2.75% CC license holders, but relative to other EU countries there is huge rate of people who carry pepper sprays/zappers and/or knives for self defense, and only now they realized they can't take it for granted. All these people can be played well during elections, and none of their votes can be won by gun control. ČSSD has now realized that they can't compete with ANO in general, they need to talk to concrete parts of society to win their vote. It is clear from recent statements that they chose the pensioners and unions and now - with the constitutional amendment - gun owners. There are only two ways for them to go forward - either play it all along and win their votes or lose them all. (1) The past two months are the first time in about 16 months that you can buy vz.58 without having to sign up on a waiting list to get on a waiting list (I am not kidding, this is what several shops offered to me in April stating that their standard waiting lists are full). AR-15 - PAR MK3 still has waiting times of several months as do VAR rifles (I am not sure about LUVO) and the only foreign semi-auto rifles in stock are above 45.000 CZK mark. Pistol and revolver sales were also through the roof. Normal gun sales are 15K per year, 2015 were 50K and I suppose that 2016 will top that. CC license application were so high that waiting times for exam got from two weeks to half a year (now they are back to a month but not due to low demand, but due to tripling of exam dates).