PRAGUE – The lower house of the Czech Parliament has approved a constitutional amendment that gives legal gun owners a right to participate in the country's defense.
An overwhelming 139-9 majority approved the amendment proposed by a group of lawmakers from several parties.
The move is intended to get round a new European Union directive that bans some kinds of semi-automatic weapons that are popular among the 300,000 holders of a gun license in the Czech Republic, a country of 10 million. The EU law might not apply if gun-holders are considered to be state officials.
The Czech government has already said it will file a legal complaint against the directive — approved as a reaction to extremist attacks — claiming it is too restrictive.
Wednesday's move still needs approval from Parliament's upper house.