Gun owners contest new gun law

The killer weapon, a Vz58 machine gun
The weapon that killed 6 innocent victims in Bratislava

The draft amendment to the Act on Weapons and Ammunition put forward by interior minister Daniel Lipsic following the shooting spree in Bratislava in August is in violation of the Constitution, claims gun owners association Legis Telum.

Representatives of the association Ludovit Miklanek and Daniel Turecek called a press conference yesterday, 13 September to make their stance known, as the interior minister is pushing for the act to be passed in accelerated legislative proceedings within 7 days.

They say the planned amendment is basically applying the principle of collective guilt and would dispossess people of their property without any compensation. The amendment would see the confiscation of about 60% of all firearms in Slovakia, affecting some 157,000 people.

They say that if the law is passed, it would destroy weapons sports in the country and have a serious impact on firearms collectors. The association also feels that the amendment will not have the desired effect of increasing people’s safety, and instead will just lead to a black market in weapons.

The association is therefore calling on MPs to vote against the proposal, as it should be discussed in more detail with the involvement of experts, void of political interests. A new proposal can then be drawn up that will not impose general bans, but which instead will tighten the conditions for getting a gun permit.

“An individual snapped, and this has led to collective guilt being applied in Slovakia” said Turecek from the association. He stressed that passing such a law in just seven days would not allow for a qualified evaluation. “We are not militants, and we are definitely not on any weapons lobby payroll” he said. Turecek also claims that because of the shooting in Devinska Nova Ves, people with gun permits have now been unjustly labelled with shameful names.

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