Italy’s coalition government just passed a “legitimate defense” bill forward which lowers the penalties for Italians using their firearms in cases of self-defense.
Since Matteo Salvini became the Italian Minister of the Interior in 2018, Italian politics have taken an interesting turn. The rise of Salvini’s La Lega party has brought new policies such as gun ownership liberalization into the current political discussion.
In fact, the coalition was able to pass previous legislation that increased the number of firearms that Italians could own and even relaxed the limits on magazine size capacity. So it seems that Italy is experiencing a positive trend in gun rights.
This new law is slightly based off of American stand your ground laws which allow individuals to use lethal force when confronting imminent threats to their person or property.
Despite hand-wringing from anti-gun activists, gun researcher John Lott has found that stand your ground laws “make it easier for would-be victims to protect themselves when the police can’t arrive fast enough.”
Indeed, politics has many harsh realities that people have to cope with. The mass migration and welfare state cocktail have generated toxic social outcomes that Europeans must now deal with on a daily basis. These circumstances have made governments not only reconsider immigration policies but also their security policies.
The sense of insecurity that the current refugee dilemma has fostered compelled the Czech Republic to liberalize its gun laws in 2017 in order to promote national security.
These types of policy changes are a big win for Europe. More often than not, policy experts will reflexively turn to the state for more “solutions” that the state ironically created in the first place. Restoring liberty sometimes involves muddling through otherwise troublesome circumstances. Nevertheless, any kind of expansion of freedom should be celebrated regardless of the context.
Post-world War II Europe has been marked by strong acceptance of welfare statism and top-down policymaking. Liberalizing gun laws is a breath of fresh air for a region that has routinely embraced interventionism. With Italy leading the way in passing pro-gun legislation, now countries like Spain are starting to open up discussions on reforming their gun laws.
With Italy’s legitimate defense bill now law, Italy could be at the forefront of a growing gun rights movement in Europe.