The Czech Republic Has Over a Million Registered Firearms

The Czech Republic, in comparison to its larger neighbor Poland, boasts a higher number of legally held firearms. The country also surpasses Germany in terms of the number of guns per hundred citizens. According to the latest police statistics, over 1,040,000 registered pistols, rifles, and other firearms are intended for combat and hunting in the Czech Republic.

In Poland, four times larger than the Czech Republic, there are around 760,000 guns. This number is expected to rise as the strict legislation was eased last July. The figures are also lower in Germany, where nearly six guns per hundred citizens are held by civilians, compared to the Czech Republic’s ten.

In the Czech Republic, a prospective firearm owner in category B, which includes pistols, self-loading rifles, or shotguns, must apply to the police for a purchase permit. However, it is a formality if the applicant has the appropriate firearm license. “The responsible police unit will issue a permit if the applicant states one of the reasons for owning a firearm, such as protection of health, life, or property,” confirmed Milan Prchal, police director of the firearms service.

Interestingly, the Czech Republic’s firearm ownership aligns with the global average. This was revealed by the Geneva-based research project Small Arms Survey, which estimated the number of registered and unregistered firearms per hundred inhabitants for all countries worldwide. With a value of 12.5, the Czech Republic ranked 64th globally and 16th within the European Union.

Among the Visegrád Group countries, the Czech Republic came first, ahead of Hungary (10.5), Slovakia (6.5), and Poland (2.5). Sweden (23) and Finland (31) topped the list. These are countries where hunting traditions exist, and firearms can be legally obtained for these purposes,” explained security expert Josef Kraus from Masaryk University in Brno.