In 2023, the Czech Republic witnessed an unprecedented increase in firearm purchases, surpassing the previous year’s figures. Many attribute the surge to Ukraine’s ongoing unrest, leading to heightened self-defense measures. Surprisingly, traditional firearms aren’t the only sought-after items. Many citizens are opting for unlicensed arms, such as gas pistols and Flaubert cartridge revolvers, with a simple ID card sufficing for purchase. In just half a year, the Interior Ministry reported a sale of 12,500 such weapons—a 3,500-unit jump from the same period last year. A marked demographic shift in gun ownership is evident. Of the 1,592 new firearm licenses issued this year, 25% were to women, a significant leap from the historical 10%.
With the Ukraine situation as a backdrop, 5,000 new firearm licenses were added last year, summing to 314,000. Milena Bačkovska from the Interior Ministry correlates the rise to the Ukraine situation, emphasizing a sentiment of preparation among the public.
Furthermore, Category B firearms, such as the 9mm CZ and Glock, are in high demand. 2022 saw 480,000 such purchases, with 2023 already surpassing 490,000 by June. Petr Steiner of the Armed gun store highlighted the sharp increase in demand, particularly for renowned brands.
These figures underscore the Czech Republic’s growing concerns, emphasizing the far-reaching consequences of regional instability on civilian choices.