Is Italy Softening Its Gun Laws?

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Anti-gun activists will occasionally try to use a “keeping up with the Joneses” approach to gun laws. What I mean by that is that they’ll pretend that because we have lax gun laws compared to other Western nations, we should change that, that we should conform to what European countries have embraced.


Of course, that argument rarely works. Americans may tend to follow a herd to some degree, but those inclined to do so drank the gun control Kool-Aid a long time ago. Those of us still standing aren’t likely to consider other countries doing something as a valid reason for us to do it.

We still remember our mamas asking, “If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you do it too?”

Besides, it looks like at least one of those Western nations is considering loosening up its gun laws.

Italians are seeing a change in the winds to both firearm laws toward carry and ownership, as well as greater interest culturally.

Yet, Italians have no fundamental right to bear arms at a time of turmoil and increasing debate about ordinary people being able to own guns for self-defense. Italy has three licenses enabling people to buy firearms for: hunting, sporting, or concealed carry, which is only available for those who can prove a “demonstrated need” (such as working as a security guard or at-risk profession.)

The election of Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini signals a change in attitude among Italians. Salvini has been pictured holding firearms in publicity.

Currently the government is supporting a “legitimate defense”bill—a “castle doctrine” style law that would protect gun owners from liability when they defend themselves in their own homes.

Now, Italy has a long way to go before its as free as the United States when it comes to firearms, but this is a major step in the right direction for the nation.


The fact that the government is backing what amounts to a “castle doctrine” bill is a massive move in the right direction all on its own. People shouldn’t have to worry about being victimized by ruthless predators. That includes the bloodsucking attorneys that swoop in following a self-defense shooting and try to take the law-abiding citizen to the cleaners.

That’s why castle doctrine is such an important concept here in the United States. It’s amazing to see it popping up in other nations, especially as it’s painted domestically as part and parcel of Stand Your Ground laws which have generated so much controversy in recent years.

It’s my most profound hope that Italy adopts these measures and continues to loosen its restrictive gun laws. Owning and using firearms is a fundamental human right, one that is endowed to us by nature of being alive. That means all men and women should be free to exercise it. The fact that most European nations don’t understand that isn’t a reason we should ignore it.

But the fact that a European nation is moving more in our direction is something we should pay attention to.

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