The Leader of Spain’s right-wing populist party Vox is calling for looser gun laws.
Santiago Abascal, the head of Vox, said that law-abiding Spaniards should have easier access to firearms for self-defense. In an interview, Abascal stated that “”the concept of legitimate defense needs to be widened” in Spain.
Abascal’s party is projected to have a big showing in the local, regional, and European elections on May 26, 2019. With a potential increase in seats in the Spanish Parliament, gun rights are positioned to become a normal part of political discussions in Spain.
In the past, Abascal has boasted about carrying a handgun because his family was targeted by the Basque terrorist group ETA. Such a threat allowed Abascal to obtain a gun license, which is generally off limits to most of the nation’s populace
Spanish gun control is draconian. Information from the U.S. Library of Congress reveals that firearms licenses for personal defense are only granted to individuals “who can prove that a real danger to their security exists.”
The populist leader believes that Spain’s current gun control laws should be relaxed. Abascal expanded on the need for more gun rights in Spain:
We need an urgent radical change in the law, not only so that the Spaniards without criminal records and in full use of their mental faculties can keep a weapon in their house… But so that they can use it in real life-threatening situations without fear of facing a judicial nightmare, prison sentences or even the prospect of having to pay compensation to the relatives of criminals who assaulted them.
Vox’s embrace of expanded gun rights is part of a new trend in European politics that started with the Czech Republic’s decision in 2017 to liberalize gun ownership as a means of bolstering national security in the country.
Now countries like Italy are following in the Czech Republic’s footsteps in bringing forward their own versions of gun liberalization. Once Matteo Salvini became Minister of the Interior Italy in 2018, Italy began easing restrictions on how many firearms Italians can own and the size of magazines they can use. Now, Salvini and his coalition are considering a “legitimate defense” bill, that would allow Italians to use lethal force when confronting imminent threats in their own homes.
With increased refugee migration to Spain over the past two years, the Spanish population has become leery. As a result, Vox’s populist message has grown in popularity. Should migration continue, Spain could experience the rise of immigrant crime zones and other unwanted side effects of open borders like migrant welfare dependency.
Although it won’t solve all of Spain’s problems, having the right to self-defense will help Spaniards protect themselves from the troubling trends of mass migration.
Vox’s tremendous showing during the May elections may bode well for expanded gun rights in the Iberian Peninsula.
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