[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 January 2006, 23:00 GMT
Italy approves self-defence law
A man looks at guns in a gun shop in Naples, Italy
Critics say the law will lead to more violence
The Italian parliament has passed legislation allowing people to shoot robbers in self-defence.

The law permits the use of guns and knives by people in homes or workplaces to protect lives or belongings.

The reform was introduced by the Northern League party, a right-wing member of the ruling coalition with a strong anti-crime platform.

The opposition voted against the bill, which critics say will encourage people to take the law into their own hands.


The new law will allow people to use legally registered weapons to protect themselves or others, and their property and the property of others, from harm.

It applies if there is a danger of aggression and the attacker does not desist.

Justice Minister Roberto Castelli backed the new law.

"Today criminals will have more to fear while there will be fewer problems for honest people," said Mr Castelli, who belongs to the Northern League.

However, the centre-left opposition expressed concern that it would encourage violence and lead to increased use of firearms.

"This is a... measure that delegates the use of force to citizens with the sole certain result of increasing the risks for people's safety," said Paolo Cento of the Greens party.

A criminal lawyers' group also criticized the law, saying it amounted to allowing "legitimate offence".

Italian bid to castrate rapists
24 Jun 05 |  Europe
Shot burglar case sparks debate
26 Oct 04 |  Derbyshire

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific