Ukraine reveals new gun plan
Allowing people in Ukraine to legally own handguns would greatly improve national security against outside “aggressors,” Ukraine’s Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov told news agency RBK Ukraine on Thursday. The move would “increase citizens’ personal security, help law enforcement and certainly reduce crime rates,” the minister claims.
Reznikov said on Thursday he has been a “longtime gun-rights supporter”, adding that “as a lawyer” he believes a gun law is long overdue in Ukraine. In late 2021, the local UNIAN news agency published a piece calling Ukraine “virtually the only nation in Europe lacking a gun law.”
The defense minister has advocated the idea of people “getting a right to … carry handguns” and pointed to the experience of “many other nations.” Reznikov also argued that it would help Ukraine prevent a potential aggression.
When any potential foe is aware that Ukrainians… are in possession of a certain amount of handguns and other firearms, it is an additional reason to think about a potential cost of aggression.
Reznikov has maintained that military-grade firearms should still only be owned by the military and supplied to reservists only “in case of need,” arguing that “these are different types of firearms not linked to each other.”
Ukraine currently does not have any legislation on civilian firearms. All civilian arms-related issues are regulated by an Interior Ministry’s order. Ukrainians are allowed to own hunting rifles and shotguns after obtaining a relevant license. People working in certain professions, including judges, journalists and MPs, can also get licenses on non-lethal rubber-bullet handguns.
However, media reports and analysts have suggested that, in Ukraine, illegal firearms are already abundant thanks to a booming black market. There are now anywhere between three million and five million illegal guns in Ukraine, according to TASS, citing the country’s Interior Ministry.