Gun rights in Europe post Charlie Hebdo

Will increased terrorist threat in Europe lead to less restrictive gun loss?

  • Sooner or later, it will become inevitable.

    Votes: 11 3.1%
  • Maybe, but I wouldn't bet my money on it.

    Votes: 66 18.8%
  • Don't know / don't care.

    Votes: 11 3.1%
  • Probably not.

    Votes: 94 26.8%
  • On the contrary, more gun control will be introduced.

    Votes: 169 48.1%

  • Total voters
  • Poll closed .
Not open for further replies.
When people talk about 77 murders and 21 years in finland, I suppose they are talking about the Anders Breivik murders in NORWAY.

First, the sentence is 21 years and then re-evaluation, because he is deamed insane, not responsible for his actions.

1. I asked whether that is a sentence that would be ALSO handed in Finland, which clearly means that I am aware it did not happen in Finland.
2. Breivik was found sane.
3. It is 21 years imprisonment sentence, and that is it.
4. The Norwegian law provides for possibility of further detention if the person is still considered a threat to society. However, the onus of proof will be on Government that he is still dangerous. If he manages to have 10 years clean record, shows remorse and rejects his extremist views, the Government will be very unlikely to be able to keep him in. Humanism my ass when we talk about 77 victims killed in cold blood. (In most countries when a life sentence is given, it is up on the convict to make his case that he is eligible to be let out on parole).

In Finland "life sentence" is set, but after 12 years convicts are automatically scheduled for reconsideration by parole board and many/most of them released after serving 12-16 years.
That is just plain wrong. Czech life sentence generally means first parole hearing possible after 20 years, but I haven't heard about anyone getting out unless he was either about to die or was convicted for sex crimes and got PHYSICALLY castrated while behind bars (Czech Rep is the only country in Europe which gives sexual predators the possibility/choice to undergo this procedure and is constantly criticized for it). Meanwhile the worst of worst get as part of the sentence that they can ask for parole only after serving 20 in less-then-max security, with obligatory initial 10 years in max security. Any problem they make in less-then-max lands them back to max, so for some it is truly a life without parole. But apart from that I would also agree that Czech sentences in general are too short. Habitual criminals can get over 20 convictions by age of 30 and continue on and on in-and-out of prison until they do something really horrible. The system should land them in for good long before that.

I'm an American Bohunk myself. Since so many were Catholics coming from Orthodox-dominated countries I wonder if they were not being completely honest about being agnostic.

The Czech lands were never Orthodox (unless you pointed out to other countries?). It was the first reformed country, 100 year before Luther. However we lost at the very beginning of the 30 years' war with Catholics brutally taking over after 1621. The 95% Protestant population could choose between conversion, exodus or death. Up to 60% of population loss in those years. Most of converts did so only in order to avoid execution, but over the years also the underground church was destroyed. Going through the mayhem of religious wars, hating Catholic overlords and losing the protestant roots led to the logical outcome of predominantly agnostic/atheist society. Back at home people had to tick "Catholic" during census, only at Ellis Island they could write down their lack of religion freely.

From what I've read in the early years the Czech atheism became so notorious that Czechs, notwithstanding religion or lack of as regards the given deceased, would not be allowed to be buried at local parishes and had to start own graveyards in US.

I recommend reading up on Jan Hus, the Czech Reformer. If for no other reason, then because of the Hussite wars of the 1420s. Battle of Kutná Hora was the first recorded utilization of field artillery in history.

The Hussites were first to massively use firearms on the battlefield, and it was one of the main reasons how the Protestant peasant army could fight off five crusades consisting of the best equipped and trained armies the Catholic Europe could throw at them. The English term "pistol" originated from the Czech "píšťala", which was by 1400 recognized as a different firearm in Czech language from "hákovnice".

I do have to point out that crimerates and gun related incidents or often higher in the more restrictive areas

You don't need to point at US to show that. Just point out at Czech Republic/Poland or Switzerland/UK.
Snejdarek I have to say it's refreshing to get an informed view from a different part of the world. We miss out on much of European history here because we focus on our own history and when we do study Europe it's western Europe. I learned several things from your post and I was a history major in college. In fairness there's a bunch of history to learn and by the time we get the Romans, the Greeks, Charlemagne and all the struggles of British Ilse there isn't a lot of time left for eastern Europe history. Thanks for the post and keep 'em coming.
Last edited:
Thanks for the post and keep 'em coming.

You are welcome. I understand that ours is a small country with little population, but come on, if nothing else, people on this forum should be aware of the place and time where firearms started to matter, not to mention Jan Žižka who made them ordinary feature in his army.

Also, wasn't wagenburg the thing during colonization of the West? That was too introduced by Žižka, and that was what made the early firearms usable on the field (otherwise cavalry would rip the gunmen apart before they could reload).
The wagenburg is a wagon right? I don't get the connection to firearms. We may have different terms here with something being lost in translation or something.

BTW I certainly know something of the history of eastern Europe with the swings from one religion to another and your country always seeming to be the battleground area. The Muslims have tried to conquer all of Europe going through the Czech Republic since there was such a things as Islam practically. For example I know that in Budapest (yes I know that's in Hungary) the number of Christians fell to about 70 at one point. Your area was always a buffer zone for the west and I feel like I should say thanks.

BTW everyone on this board knows where CZ's come from. :)
Here you do not need to prove the need for self defence. I can just go to the police, get the permit to buy one or several (they just check if I am a law-abiding citizen, ie not having any punishments or done any deeds that would exclude me), and then buy what you like (within the scope of law of course). I can carry concealed anything that is registered for self defence, whether it is a pistol or an AR. As a member of the Defence League I can own even select-fire guns.

Using one for self-defence is another matter, but at least I have the option and means to do so. Also, just for cultural background, the times are difficult, especially with the next-door neighbour (actively waging war not too far away) and related minority which is said to be 90% 5th echelon (would it be that bad, really, I can't say, but nothing to be happy or careless about).
The wagenburg is a wagon right? I don't get the connection to firearms. We may have different terms here with something being lost in translation or something.

BTW I certainly know something of the history of eastern Europe with the swings from one religion to another and your country always seeming to be the battleground area. The Muslims have tried to conquer all of Europe going through the Czech Republic since there was such a things as Islam practically. For example I know that in Budapest (yes I know that's in Hungary) the number of Christians fell to about 70 at one point. Your area was always a buffer zone for the west and I feel like I should say thanks.

BTW everyone on this board knows where CZ's come from. :)
I haven't heard vagenburg(s) mentioned since my dinner table history lessons. They were essentially carts parked wheel to wheel with gunners & crossbowmen. When the knights would charge the gunners would shoot their horses out from under them. Think of the old west wagon trains circling the wagons but with vehicles designed as rolling fortifications.

Thank you Snejdarek for reminding me of this bit of history.
Welcome, Medusa. Great to see an Estonian here!

I just read your WEAPONS ACT and I was wondering about the prohibition of bullet in chamber. Would you say it is something that is respected in reality or mostly ignored? I'd hate carrying this way.

Would you say that representation of Estonia in this table is correct?

We all hope that the guy in Kremlin doesn't lose it completely. And it is great to see that the people of Estonia are as ready as possible. What about the two L neighbors? What are their gun laws like, what is their level of readiness?

The wagenburg is a wagon right? I don't get the connection to firearms.

As officer said:

They were essentially carts parked wheel to wheel with gunners & crossbowmen.

The early firearms were too cumbersome to operate to be useful in open field war. Also the peasants that were the core of Hussite army stood very little to no chance against professional armies. So Žižka came up with the fortified wagons, bound by chains. Between wagons were canons, on wagons people with long cold arms, firearms and crossbows. Thanks to wagon fort, the soldiers could take cover for reloading, they did not need to move quickly around the battlefield, making firearms from near useless to game changer.


Here is Hussite píšťala and hákovnice being fired. I think one can call them VZ.1420 :D
Last edited:
OK I guess I was thinking further west when you said west. The firearm was already well established by the time the new world was colonized AFAIK anyway. The sailing ship was the fortress of that time that couldn't be overcome by opposing forces then the actual fortress became the standard for keeping a presence in a frontier outpost.

Western Europe was of course an entirely different story. The evolution of the power of the gun there was hit and miss and governed by many factors not the least of which was that a peasant farmer with a blunderbuss could bring down a knight in armor who had been trained for years in the art of combat. Longbows accomplished the feat to a degree but arrows were more expensive and training archers was even more so. So the hand cannon and the blunderbuss were increasingly used in combat roles. I have heard of the fortified wagons you speak of but I have not thought of them for a very long time. It was long enough that I had forgotten most of it.
There was definitely the tactic of circling the wagons much as you describe but they weren't really bound by chains or fortified by cannons. They were the same wagons the settlers were dragging their possession across the country in. They gave the wagon trains a good fortified position but the gun fire came from settlers using their various long arms and pistols. The truth is that much of that whole scenario is mostly a Hollywood concoction but some of it happened. The major force used to conquer the west was the army with the Calvary playing a significant role. By the time Americans were heading west there were lots of firearms available to them with certain firearms gaining a reputation as having "won the west". The lever action rifle was a big success and popular among civilians but the army mostly used rifles with more powerful rounds that had more range. The Winchester Model 1873 was particularly popular but in truth more shotguns were used by settlers because they were cheaper and more versatile. Henry rifles were also valued because you could "load them on Sunday and shoot all week" as the saying went. They had a large capacity for the time and that was important. Spencer rifles were popular as were Sharps rifles but they were mostly for hunting buffalo. The army used Springfield trap-door rifles because they were an early breech loading rifle and they had a long range which was a good thing for soldiers interested in staying out of arrow range.

As for handguns the famous Colt Single Action Army or Peacemaker played a big role. The Walker Colt was popular along with various other guns like Derringers, pepper boxes and other odd designs. But it was the revolver that made the biggest impact especially once they started using cartridges in them.

These guns made it possible for a few men to be very effective against much greater enemy forces. They had guns with high capacity (for the time) which was a huge advantage. You can imagine how well a man armed with a 1873 Winchester might do against native Americans with bows or older rifles even. And in truth most native Americans never gained the kind of proficiency the white man had with guns. They didn't have the ammunition to practice for one thing and after all they were basically a stone age / early bronze age culture. They certainly learned to a degree but white people grew up with guns and the big improvements that came along spread like wildfire and that was all the edge needed to defeat almost all native Americans. Some tribes were much tougher (like the Chiricahua Apache) who were small in number but were incredible warriors in their own right.

So some aspects of the wagon tactics you described were used by the advantage of firepower made many of those tactics obsolete. I'm sure Custer wished he had used some of those older tactics instead of relying on his Calvary training and experience. He left some cannons behind when he went to attack the Sioux at Little Big Horn. Big mistake.

Earlier US colonists relied heavily on wooden forts BTW. Boonesborough for example protected a settlement of white people who were the first to move into the land called Kentucky permanently. Other forts throughout the mid-west and the north allowed white people to pick and choose their battles for the most part. Obviously they didn't always win and early on we would have seen some of the tactics you described. But some famous battles made it clear that in the American wilderness the old European tactics could be very detrimental even to a much larger force. For example the Saratoga Campaign in the revolution showed just how hard it was to use the tactics used in Europe in the American back country. Large military forces would set out to conquer areas only to find that the land and the tactics of the new world worked very much against them. This started as early as the French and Indian War (you might know it as the Seven Year War). Things were just different here. If you didn't prepare for the wilderness it would defeat you without much help from your enemy. Large assemblages of war wagons and such were more likely to bog you down than give you an advantage. Remember the country was very uncivilized meaning bridges didn't exist and moving heavy equipment could be very, very hard. Battles were won by mobile forces willing to use unexpected tactics like walking chest deep in freezing water for long distances to gain a surprise for an attack on a fort. I understand how the wagons you describe could be very effective in a continent with an infrastructure like Europe but no so much in America.
I recall seeing a cartoon showing a British man saying something along the lines of "We Brits are more civilized than you Yanks and banned firearms." Some guns and knives show up in the next panel and the Brit remarks "Looks like we will have to ban them TWICE." A very accurate cartoon of how European politics work. There is no higher court in European countries to override trampling self defense tools.
Did you say ban twice?

Why not just ban thoughts instead? It's much easier to enforce and every bit as effective as banning guns and ammo have been. If we could just get rid of all the bad thoughts in the world we would have nothing but good thoughts. See how iron clad the logic is? Instead of spending all that money to keep citizens from owning guns they can just ban even thinking about guns. That will stop those terrorists dead in their tracks. Oops! Did I say "dead". I guess I should be fined under my own system for saying such a negative word or even thinking it. Yes sir those terrorists will have to bring their bad thoughts in from outside the country if we pass that ban. And that will be too hard of course. No one would go through all that much trouble. The collective positive thinking that would be aligned against them - oops - did I say "against them" - there's another negative thought. Darn. Oops!
The man in the deli who only died because he tried to pick up the jammed AK and was subsequently shot is a perfect example of how at such close quarters any weapon would have been all that was necessary, so maybe you're right and I'm not giving handguns enough credit.

Inside a building 10-20' is a normal encounter distance. Far too few people realize this and believe that SBR's, carbines and the like would be the preferred weapons. A pistol is more than adequate inside a building in trained hands even if your attacker has a vest. A vest will do nothing for a hit in the lower torso, leg or head. The attacker may not be totally disabled but could become immobile and less of a threat to others. Many shooters are killed or disabled in buildings by police with nothing more than a pistol. If a shooter can train to put every round in a pie plate at 15 yards (13.7 meters) than a pistol is more than an adequate defense.
Snejdarek, the table in wikipedia is pretty much correct. The chamber thing. Who knows why this is on the law. Seems to me that this is followed on individual basis - who wants, carries empty; who doesn't, carries loaded. I have yet to see it actually checked.

Also, I must add, the law specifically excludes the JHP for handguns, only FMJ or SP-s. For rifle, buy whatever you like. But no AP, tracers or exploding bullets. For civilian the allowed calibers go up to .50 (handgun rounds), but anything starting from .50 BMG is for military use only.

Might seem a little restrictive, but man does it produce some comedy stories. Since this part of the world has been a war zone (WWII) and the sold off remains of the red army, there are supposed to be plenty of firearms and explosives hidden away. I recall 20mm autocannons, a tank cannon, an acht-acht, domestic disagreements solved with F1 grenade, some old lady digging up some 60 mortar rounds in the back garden. One year a gun buy-back program resulted in few hundred kilos on explosives.

One comedy story that jumped up, one of the craziest I have heard lately. A guy brought down / shot down a paraplane with a flare gun. Reason was that the paraplane flew low over his house and made a lot of noise. The comedy part was that he actually missed the paraplane with the flare, thus throwing the gun at it in frustration, hitting the engine and finally getting the thing down.

From older times, 50-60s, a co-worker said that the kids had a lot of guns as toys, shooting up abandoned houses, playing war and recreating the acts in war movies. Like throwing a potato masher in a well. Said that the police raided couple of kids and went away with minivan full of weapons and ammo. And I mean full, like MGs, crates of ammo etc. A friend of mine still has a MP-38 and MG 34 from that time, registered of course.

One day during the early 90-s I saw an ad in local newspaper, selling a Strela SAM launcher and several reloads. The price wasn't even too steep.

There are even some stories you won't tell online and/or sober. Just a little teaser. During the early 90's the young defence forces had weapons, but no blanks, thus the training was with live ammo, shooting over the heads and such. Made some fun co-operating exercises with our allies why didn't know that little detail. But the F1 fuses left by the soviets were tricky ones, some had the 5 sec delay, some let it go at the moment you let the handle fly (fuse for grenade vs fuse for booby-trap).
Last edited:
About the pistol vs rifle at closer ranges. Something I was told about wound ballistics: "if I shoot the target in the face it doesn't matter"
The OP's friends and their views on guns not being for the people and only for the government is actually shared by almost half the people of the US.
Also, I must add, the law specifically excludes the JHP for handguns, only FMJ or SP-s. For rifle, buy whatever you like. But no AP, tracers or exploding bullets.

Don't you have exceptions for that? I know EU directive mandates limitations to certain types of ammunition, but here in Finland you can get a separate permit for them. My CCW is usually loaded with Winchester Black Talons or Federal Hydra Shoks and with the permit I can buy just about any type of ammo of any caliber, this side of armor piercing incendiary.

It's relatively economical, too. Not too many people have the permit and gun shops often have JHP handgun caliber ammo in clearance due to lack of qualified buyers. At one point I managed to score a few boxes of Speer Gold Dots cheaper than bulk 9mm surplus.
I have enjoyed reading the previous 68 replies from our European brethren. Hope you all fare well in your endeavors to keep and bear arms. It's a constant fight here to maintain that right. Even school children are suspended from school for making fists that look like guns, taking an empty piece of brass to school, or even eating a Twinkie into a gun shape. Totally ridiculous. When I was in 1st grade, we took our Mattel Fanner 50's to school and shot caps at recess. It's a different society nowdays. Press on and keep up the fight.
(1) It is the job of the government to combat crime/terrorists, not of ordinary citizens. Weapons should be carried only by those with proper training.

Translation: Civilians are idiots and cannot be trusted to use a firearm.

(2) Getting armed means being afraid, which they are not. Allowing people to be armed would mean we are at war at home, which we are not.

Translation: Sticking your head in the sand and ignoring the reality that there are bad, evil people in the world who actually want to kill others is the preferred method of defense.

(3) The laws on self-defense are anyway restrictive to the point that legitimate use of the firearm is next-to-impossible.

Translation: Our government has intentionally made it impossible for the idiot civilians to legally defend themselves even if they should choose to arm themselves.

(4) Look at the US and the horrible firearm murder rate & school shootings! Anyway, I wouldn't feel safe being surrounded by armed scared people.

Translation: Blame your fear of your fellow idiot citizens on shootings that happen in gun free zones the United States.

(5) Use of firearm by citizen means "self-justice", we have evolved society in order to avoid that.

Translation: We are educated way beyond our intelligence and have transcended reality to live in the land called Honnah Lee where pirate ships lower their flags in terror of a raised voice.

(6) etc...

I am afraid that this really is the majority opinion in many European countries. I only hope that should a newspaper in Prague be in the same position, that at least half of its staff would carry and at least half of those would get enough training to be really effective. But for most of the rest of Europe, I think that gun rights is a lost cause, no matter what happens.

I'm beginning to see this kind of thinking as the natural evolution of countries which have eventually gotten around to general widespread liberties and rights for a few generations. Such countries seem to inevitably culture the growth of entire peoples who seem to think that evil people are some kind of mythological creatures who either never happen to them, are taken care of by some nebulous, otherwise benevolent government function, or whose evil is somehow the justly deserved punishment of those who enjoy liberties and rights.

They seem to think that liberty is something that is just handed out instead of fought for, taken, and defended.

I've got news for them...those who believe this about liberty will eventually discover they have no liberty left because they gave it all away. Eventually their posterity will have to shed copious amounts of blood to regain it...and then start the cycle all over again, because the "highly intelligent, reasoning human species" just isn't all that intelligent or reasoning after all. At least, not when it comes to looking past their own noses.
Just some thoughts:
there was this cartoon about the world leaders in the protest march in Paris,
Then there was the french government, who put a stand up comedien in jail because of what he said
then there were several politians suggesting more control by police is the answer,
For the first time, there where some voices in our press, opposing government control.
so I couldn't help thinking about a saying , from Thomas Jefferson IIRC, 'those who are prepared to offer freedom for security, shall have neither' or something in that kind.


  • cartoon world leaders.jpg
    cartoon world leaders.jpg
    121.5 KB · Views: 19
^^ LOL, Where is the Irony flag?

In Belgian Law those food cans would be considered illegal 'thus forbidden' weapons :evil:, because our law says that any object, used as a weapon, even if it is not designed as such, is considered a weapon.

And because they were brought to school with the intent to use them as a weapon, it would be something like a 1e degree
The world has definitely changed quite a bit. In the 80's I used to keep my IPSC race gun and a couple of hundreds of rounds of .45 handloads in my locker during the day in high school. The shooting range was half a mile from the school and it was convenient because I didn't need to go back home to get my gear before practise. Nobody really cared, as long as I kept it out of sight.

A couple of years ago my son was harassed BY TEACHERS for wearing a Cabelas shirt to school. I wonder what kind of SWAT operation would ensue if he took his race gun to school like I did back in the day. Or even leave it in his car, parked on school parking lot. :fire:
Not open for further replies.