Is the right to self-defense coming to Italy?
Historically, Italy has been a hub for firearms manufacturers such as Berretta and Perazzi. However, very few Italians have owned guns for self-defense.
Thanks to Europe’s refugee crisis and the sense of insecurity it has inspired throughout Italy, Italians are starting to become receptive to the idea of liberalizing their gun laws.
Since Matteo Salvini’s “La Lega” (The League) party rose to power last year as part of a coalition government, Italians have witnessed gradual increases in their gun rights. This new governing coalition has passed legislation that increased the number of guns Italians can own and has loosened the limits on magazine size capacity.
Now, the current government is considering a “legitimate defense” bill that would reduce the penalties for Italians who use their firearms for self-defense in their homes. This bill is roughly based off of American “Stand Your Ground” laws which allow individuals to defend themselves and use lethal force when confronting a legitimate threat.
Since 2014, the issuance of sporting gun licenses has been on the uptick. According to government data published by Il Sole 24 and the Italian think tank CENSIS, this number has increased by 50 percent.
In Europe, there has been a rekindled interest in liberalizing gun laws. The Czech Republic got the ball rolling in 2017, when the country expanded gun rights for its citizens for the purpose of promoting national security. Now Italy is following suit.
In times when European countries are seeing the rise of violent immigrant ghettoes, disarming citizens is one of the worst courses of action. Unlike most European leaders, Salvini has taken proactive measures on both immigration and personal defense matters since becoming Italy’s Minister of the Interior.
The lower house of the Italian parliament has approved this legitimate defense bill and is now scheduling it for a vote in the Italian Senate by the end of March.
Italy may well be on its way to becoming one of Europe’s most pro-gun countries.
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