Ukrainian parliament may legalize firearms

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Ukrainian parliament may legalize firearms

The interior minister has said that the parliament may allow citizens to buy firearms to protect their homes.

Ukraine will be able to make a law legalizing firearms in the near future, amid the nation's ongoing armed conflict with Russia, Internal Affairs Minister Denis Monastirsky told local media on Saturday.

The Ukrainian parliament may allow citizens to buy handguns and other weapons to protect their homes, according to Monastirsky. He believes people should be able to do so, but he said that the Internal Affairs MinistryInternal Affairs Ministry is against giving people the right to carry guns in public.

He stated that the ministry has been working with Ukrainian MPs on the issue, and that he believes that the risks to public safety outweigh the benefits.

It was approved in the first reading and is now being prepared for the second reading. I think it will be submitted to the Parliament in the near future. A bill on gun control that was approved by the Ukrainian parliament in late February, allows citizens to buy and store short-barreled firearms at home, as well as use them at shooting ranges.

In March, Monastirsky revealed that the Ukrainian government had distributed tens of thousands of assault rifles, usually reserved for the trained personnel, among civilians, in a move to turn the public into a resistance force against Russian troops. At the time, Kiev also announced that it would set free combat-experienced felons who agreed to take up arms and fight the Russian army. On February 24 the day Russia started the attack, the Kiev authorities handed out 10,000 automatic rifles among residents.

In July, Viktor Andrusov, a former adviser to Monastirsky, announced that Ukrainians could gain the right to carry pistols for self-defense as early as next year. He said that 70% of Ukrainians support the move, citing an unspecified poll.

The number of unregistered firearms in Ukraine was estimated to be between 3 and 5 million before full-scale hostilities between Russia and Ukraine broke out.