In September last year, the Italian government loosened the countries gun laws. The new law doubled the number of “sport” weapons that licensed citizens could own, a category that includes some semiautomatic weapons such as several models of the AR-15. It also loosened limits on magazine capacity.
Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has rejected that he is arming Italy up, saying he just wants to give good guys a chance to defend themselves.
And he is apparently persuading more civilians that it is a good idea. In a recent survey, 39 percent of Italians said they were in favor of making it easier to get a gun for self-defense – up from 26 percent in 2015.
Although there are no reliable statistics on gun ownership, a recent study estimated that 4.5 million Italians (out of a population of 60 million) live in a home with a firearm.
And the number of sport shooting licenses – the license of choice for ordinary citizens who want to keep a gun at home for self-defense – has skyrocketed from 400,000 in 2014 to nearly 600,000 this year. (Italy’s heavily armed criminal mobs, do not bother with licenses.)
The bill will introduce rules similar to the US stand-your-ground laws where virtually all forms of self-defence on one’s property against intruders are deemed legitimate.
The aim is to protect the sacrosanct right to legitimate defence of good citizens, shopkeepers, entrepreneurs and farmers.
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