The Czech Army wants to buy at least one large combat drone for its new
Unmanned Systems Battalion, Chief of the General Staff Aleš Opata said in
Prostějov on Thursday at a ceremony marking the creation of the new army
The combat drone, an unmanned machine weighing several hundred kilograms will complement the already used smaller drones.
The Unmanned Systems Battalion which will have up to 300 members should start operating in October of this year and become fully operational by 2025.
The government has approved new legislation which would ban armed paramilitaries and vigilante groups pursuing a religious, nationalist or similar agenda. Those who break the law would pay a substantial fine. Meanwhile, unarmed communal groups aimed at strengthening local security, such as neighbourhood watches, will continue to be legal and state security forces members will have greater freedom to use their weapons.
Česká zbrojovka Group (CZG) is considering selling some of its shares on
the Prague Stock Exchange in order to raise funds for an expansion in the
United States, where it is planning to construct a factory, the small arms
manufacturer announced in a press release on Monday. It would be the first
time in 12 years that the company’s shares are sold in Prague. However,
the business also stresses that, at this time, it is only one of the
courses of action it is considering and did not disclose the other options.
Last year, CZG announced its plans to build a manufacturing and distribution centre in Little Rock, the capital of the State of Arkansas. The company hopes not only to expand on the American private market, but sell to American federal security services, according to the press release.
The deadly attack in Ostrava’s university hospital in which a gunman killed six people and injured three others on Tuesday, shocked the nation and opened up many questions regarding security around so-called “soft targets”. I spoke to former Czech Military Intelligence chief Andor Šándor about the present state of security in Czech hospitals, what more can be done to increase it and the lessons to be learnt from Tuesday’s attack.
The Court of Justice of the European Union has dismissed the Czech
Republic’s case against the validity of an EU directive introducing
stricter rules on the acquisition and possession of firearms, Czech
Television reported on Tuesday. The Czech government hoped to cancel the
directive, which bans certain semi-automatic weapons and magazines, because
it considered it too restrictive on gun owners.
The directive was originally proposed in reaction to a wave of terrorist attacks in Europe and was approved by the European Council and Parliament in 2017. The court stated on Tuesday that the Czech objections were unfounded. EU authorities did not exceed their powers by adopting the directive, nor did they interfere with the rights of arms owners or holders, Czech Television reports.
The Czech Republic has halted arms exports to Turkey in response to
Ankara's incursion into northern Syria, Interior Minister Jan
Hamáček (Social Democrats) announced via Twitter on Monday evening,
following a government meeting. Trade Minister Karel Havlíček, whose
ministry had published the country's arms export figures earlier that
day, said that armaments exports to Turkey only make up around CZK 140
The news comes after meeting of the European Union's foreign ministers in Luxembourg, where member states pledged to suspend weapons exports to Turkey, but did not go as far as to implement a formal EU-wide arms embargo. During which Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček (Social Democrats) told journalists that he will propose to Prime Minister Andrej Babiš that the Czech Republic take part in an arms embargo on Turkey.
The European Court of Justice has started dealing with a Czech complaint
against a new European Union directive restricting possession of firearms.
The Czech Republic was vehemently against the directive saying it would damage responsible gun-holders, hunters associations and result in a large number of firearms being sold on the black market.
The Czech government would like to see the directive abolished. The Czech delegation at the hearings is headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Martin Smolek.
There are more than 800,000 firearms of all categories registered among 300,000 gun permit holders in the Czech Republic, which has a population of 10.6 million.
The German government said in a parliamentary session that members of
domestic far-right groups have in recent years been traveling to Central
and Eastern Europe to train with firearms.
MPs spoke about two countries in particular, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria.
According to Berlin, several members of a German neo-Nazi group were arrested in September following a trip to Czechia, and on that occasion “a large quantity of ammunition” had been seized.
The regional court in Plzen on Monday heard the testimony of a 42-year-old
man who is on trial for holding unregistered weapons and trading in weapons
without a license.
According to the state attorney in the years between 2010 and 2015 the man bought and resold 225 weapons, mostly machine guns and a few dozen pistols, which were slated to be destroyed or modified for use with blank cartridges only.
In Slovakia these guns do not require registration, but in the Czech Republic, which has tougher norms they do, since according to experts the modification process can easily be reversed.
If convicted, the man could face up to 8 years in prison.