Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Duma Deputies Seek to Loosen Russian Gun Laws for Veterans Returning from Ukraine Fighting

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Nov. 19 – Even though there are signs that some of the Russian veterans of the war in Ukraine are boosting crime when they return home, some United Russia deputies have introduced bills calling for a softening of Russian laws governing gun ownership to allow them to acquire more and more lethal weapons.

            The draft bill would allow veterans to purchase weapons without a five-year waiting period or special training, but they would still be required to pass a medical examination (74.ru/text/gorod/2023/11/18/72921209/, kommersant.ru/doc/6349401 and rosbalt.ru/russia/2023/11/19/1998514.html).

            One of the backers of the measure, deputy Maksim Ivanov, says that it is unclear whether the measure will pass the Duma given that some will talk about the dangers of misuse of weapons and rising crime; but he says that he is confident that the Russian population on the whole will support giving this special benefit to veterans.

            A war veteran posted on line that he favors the measure, although he would continue to require soldiers returning home to undergo instruction given that the weapons that they might acquire will be very different from those they used in combat; and instruction in how to use and store them is thus still useful.

            The veteran who has the screen name Set says he does not think most veterans would avail themselves of this right. But some might. Moreover, if this measure passes and works without difficulties, that could open the door to lifting the five-year waiting period for all Russians who want guns to hunt, target practice or protection.

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