Croatia has more than 120 thousand registered gun owners, 70 thousand people with gun permits, and around 260 thousand registered weapons.
When Parliament passed legislation regulating the sale and ownership of weapons, some said the law was too lax and would turn Croatia into the Wild West. Most of the criticism was directed at the removal of a provision that required those applying for or extending a gun permit to undergo a medical check-up every five years.
Miroslav Maretić, the head of the Administrative Service at the Interior Ministry, said the criticism was unwarranted. He underscored that it was important for all guns to be registered. Speaking on a morning talk-show on HRT, Maretić said that when someone applies for a gun carry permit for personal security, the individual has to have a valid reason for that. A police commission examines each application on an individual basis and based on the evidence submitted, decides whether the permit should be granted. He added that primary care physicians are required to report any major changes in the health status of an individual with a gun permit.
“What is new is that a person who is applying for a carry permit must pass a physical, and after that, if there is a change in his or her health status as reported by his physician, then that individual is required to undergo a special health care exam,” Maretić said.
Ivica Budor, the General Secretary of the Croatian Hunting Association owns about a dozen weapons and says hunters must comply with hunting laws.
“Croatia has a long weapons tradition and anyone can own a gun under certain conditions. The laws that we have are much more rigorous than is required by the EU,” Budor said.
According to Budor, most EU countries do not require a medical check-up. Most countries only have a psychological evaluation, he says.
The Interior Ministry adopted new regulations last year requiring all hunting weapons, including antique ones, to be registered.
“All owners of traditional weapons must register them,” Maretić underscored.
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