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Pistol Expert Discusses Ukrainian Law & Training

Pistol Expert Discusses Ukrainian Law & Training


Legislative requirements in this article updated on April 28, 2023, according to the law during martial law in Ukraine.

At 7:00 PM, a group of boys fluttered into the cool belly of the shooting range. Without further ado, they turned off their mobile phones, put away their laptops, took off their jackets, and loosened their office ties - showing off their toys. Whose is longer, who shoots cooler, and who draws faster. "You talkng to me?" And the fact that the boys are well over 15 - that's just details.

If a boy is just over 15 and for any reason concerned about safety - his own, or his family's - he will definitely think about buying a personal weapon. For self-defense, and just to shoot at cans... At 4:00 PM, we asked the vice president of the practical shooting association, director of the legal agency "Infor" Sergey Lvovich (this is not a patronymic, but a surname) to tell us about all the obvious and hidden pitfalls of the truly masculine fetish - owning a weapon.


In part 2 of Article 27 of the Constitution of Ukraine, it is stated: "Everyone has the right to protect their life and health, the life and health of others from illegal encroachments."

Documents required to obtain permission to purchase a weapon

To obtain permission from the internal affairs authorities for the acquisition, storage, and carrying of hunting rifled, smoothbore firearms, air guns, and cold weapons during martial law, citizens submit the following documents:

  1. A written application for issuing a permit addressed to the head of the police authority at the applicant's place of residence (stay);
  2. Copies of the pages of the Ukrainian citizen's passport (for persons issued a passport of a citizen of Ukraine with a contactless electronic carrier - a copy of the passport and an extract from the Unified State Demographic Register on the registration of the place of residence);
  3. If available, a copy of the military ID, or a copy of the public formation member's ID for public order protection, or a copy of the weapon permit.

Permits are issued after the police authorities conduct checks, if possible, in accordance with the established procedure, the duration of which should not exceed two days, on the absence of the following circumstances:

  • Availability of data on the systematic (two or more times) violation of public order by such a person (being held administratively liable two or more times within a year under Article 173 of the Administrative Offenses Code);
  • Systematic violation of the requirements of Instruction No. 622 dated 21.08.1998;
  • Driving vehicles or vessels by persons in a state of alcohol, drug or other intoxication, or under the influence of drugs that reduce their attention and reaction speed (being held administratively liable within a year under the second, third parts of Article 130 of the Administrative Offenses Code);
  • Illegal production, acquisition, storage, transportation, shipment of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances without the purpose of sale in small quantities (being held administratively liable two or more times within a year under Article 44 of the Administrative Offenses Code);
  • Committing domestic violence (being held administratively liable within a year under Article 173-2 of the Administrative Offenses Code);
  • Presence of information about notifying such a person of suspicion or information about composing a suspicion notice regarding such a person, which has not been delivered due to the inability to determine their whereabouts;
  • The person has a conviction for a serious crime or an especially serious crime that has not been expunged or removed in the prescribed manner;
  • Within a year from the date of entry into legal force of the court decision on confiscation or compensatory seizure of weapons.

The permit is issued for the duration of the martial law regime. Citizens are required to hand over firearms to the police no later than 10 days after the termination or cancellation of the martial law regime. In this case, firearms can be re-registered in compliance with the conditions specified in Instruction 622.

Lawyer's comment: Instruction 622 requires an insurance contract, medical certificate, certificate of no criminal record, and a certificate of completing training on the rules of handling and application of firearms.

Are all equal before the law?

- Let's talk about weapons…

 - What lies before us on the table is more accurately called not weapons, but special means for shooting traumatic ammunition - that's how they are referred to in legislative and permissive documents. Accordingly, their purpose is not military or forceful actions, but for use in self-defense by those categories of citizens who are entitled to them.

- Interesting… are not all equal before the Law?

- Unfortunately, in our country, there is no free circulation of traumatic weapons. Permissions to acquire and carry such weapons are granted to:

1. Civil servants of certain agencies;
2. Journalists;
3. Militia members;
4. Persons involved in maintaining public order;
5. Employees of security structures and their family members under certain conditions (danger to their lives);
6. As well as persons involved in criminal proceedings (witnesses, victims, etc.).

- And what is granted, for example, to a journalist?

- A journalist has the opportunity to receive a petition from the editor-in-chief, with which they can obtain permission to acquire a special means. With this document, they can go to a store and choose what they like most.

- And is it possible to acquire something really big, for example, a Magnum?

- Officially, in our country, you cannot acquire combat weapons or foreign-made weapons for personal possession. The only exception is award weapons. Suppose the president, the Minister of Internal Affairs, the Chairman of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Chairman of the Security Service, or an ambassador of a foreign state awards you a luxurious pistol made in their country - this is the only formal reason for such a gun to appear in our country.

Shooter's reflexes

- A pistol is a weapon intended, to put it delicately, for inflicting bodily harm incompatible with life?

- In our country, such pistols are prohibited. Using traumatic weapons, even with the most uncertified ammunition, it is difficult to kill someone. This tool is designed more to stop an attacker than to cause death or serious bodily harm. So, you can be calm - a shot from a traumatic weapon is unlikely to result in death.

Lawyer's comment: Controversial statement. There are many cases where traumatic weapons inflicted fatal injuries.

- But if you buy a pistol, should you be ready to shoot?

- You need to be ready to use it, so to speak. Overcoming the psychological barrier before shooting at a person, even with a traumatic pistol, is also a skill you need to have.

- How serious is this barrier?

- It's hard to say - everyone has their own. But skills practiced to the point of automation help to overcome it. When a person finds themselves in a critical, stressful situation, they simply realize their reflexes. And reflexes are acquired through training.

- Are you the only organization "responsible for reflexes"?

- Let's put it this way: we are the only organization that not only provides training using the most modern methods but also holds practical shooting competitions - an international sport, which, by the way, is not yet officially recognized in our country. Nevertheless, we have been cultivating it in Ukraine for 4 years already.

- Can you explain in simple words what practical shooting is?

Practical shooting is a set of skills that allow a person to improve their gun handling culture, competently handle weapons, and practice elements that simulate real-life fire contact situations. It is an exciting sports discipline that allows applying these skills in a competition format. Moreover, it is a rather strict safety system that prevents accidents when handling weapons properly.

- Do representatives of security structures attend your classes?

- Security personnel do not need it - they have their own places and weapons to shoot. But for several years in a row, we held closed championships for representatives of security structures and special units. In the first year, a large number of participants from various agencies attended, and it was thanks to this massiveness that we saw that the level of training in some units was very low. This fact is related to the progressive decrease in the number of participants in the following years: commanders receive their dose of reality - your fighters are worse than those in other units. And they decide it's better not to participate in such competitions.

Author: Denis Sukhinin

Lawyer: Dmitry Donchak

Other parts of this article:

vocabulary "We are too smart to be happy and too proud to admit we are fools."

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