History of Italy / Society

Gun control in Italy

A young Natalie Portman with an Italian Beretta gun.

A young Natalie Portman mounting an Italian Beretta gun.

After the Connecticut tragedy, we’ll try to give a picture of gun control in Italy.

The fascist Government, in power until 1943, wanted the citizens to be familiar with weapons. Military drills were routine, even for school boys.

The penalties for the illegal detention of weapons were relatively mild, and a Civil Code norm which is still in force allowed armed hunters to enter private property.

After the fall of fascism, gun control become much stricter. Gun control laws enacted in 1967 and in 1975 greatly increased the penalties for the illegal detention of weapons, including light ones (even ‘canes’).

In 2006, conservative parties amended the Criminal Code to make easier the use of force against intruders (not including hunters, of course).

The changes were minimal, however, and in general Italians are not fond of weapons. Less than 25,000 people have successfully applied for a gun licence ‘for personal defense purposes’.

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