Ukrainian defense minister favors looser gun legislation

18 February 2022, 06:04 PM

Ukraine should pass legislation that would legalize and regulate private firearm ownership, Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said while talking to the press at the Ukrainian parliament on Feb. 18.

“I’m convinced it has to be done,” said Reznikov.

“Since we don’t have laws in Ukraine that regulate weapon trade; we’re instead relying on a series of departmental acts that regulate it.”

Current gun laws for civilians in Ukraine are considered strict, and civilians are outright banned from owning most firearms that are not classified as hunting weapons, such as rifles or shotguns. Even rifles and shotguns, purchased for self-defense, are typically officially registered as hunting weapons to avoid bureaucratic snafus.

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The minister said he hopes the parliament will finally pass a bill that would properly take care of the issue.

In February 2021, NV Radio reported that, according to a poll ran by Gradus Research, 51.4% of Ukrainians support establishing a legal market for personal firearms, for self-defense purposes.

In March 2021, the parliament voted down two gun bills.

Nevertheless, the Ukrainian civilian arms market has been booming in recent months, due to increasing Russian escalation on the Ukrainian border and recent rules regarding the newly established Territorial Defense Forces – a “home guard” for Ukrainians – which require members to own their own firearms.

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