Monday, April 23, 2018

Citizens Push for Right to Self Defense in Ukraine

Ukraine is considering rights of self defense and the legal rights to own weapons.

Since the break up of the United Soviet Socialist Republics, or USSR, the former client states of the USSR have been struggling with numerous issues of law, including private property rights and self defense.

Ukraine has little traditional law concerning the ownership of firearms. The law, as such, consists of instructions issued in 1998 by the Interior Ministry. In practice, the Interior Minister can give firearms to whom he wishes. Exactly who is eligible, and who is not, tends to be a matter of personal opinion.  From
That confrontation would be unremarkable were it not for the story of how Pashinsky received the pistol: as an official gift from Interior Minister Arsen Avakov — part of a tradition in which the minister and president award firearms to politicians, military officers, and even influential business people.

Georgy Uchaikin bristles at the mere existence of this practice. As director of the Ukrainian Association of Gun Owners or UAGO, he advocates for Ukrainians’ legal right to bear arms. To him, “awarded guns” demonstrate the discriminatory nature of his country’s gun policies.

By law, these awards are intended only for military men and women. But interpretation is loose. As a result, Uchaikin estimates Ukrainian authorities have handed out 50,000 weapons to members of the elite since independence in 1991 in a state that is otherwise hostile to gun ownership.
The system reminds me of "dollar a year" sheriff deputies in many states before federal money and federally mandated standards ended the practice. If the sheriff liked you, or was properly persuaded... you were deputized and could legally carry a gun concealed.   Another similarity is with "may issue" states in the United States. Those states grant the power to issue permits to a person in authority, such as in California. In California the issuing authority decides who gets a permit to carry a firearm, and who does not.  Many people in California have ties to the issuing authority.

In Ukraine, in a fuzzy way, this applies to the entire nation. I know two poeple who have traveled in Ukraine, one of them extensively. One married a Ukrainian girl, the other's son married a Ukrainian girl. Neither knows the other.

Both said that the presence of organized crime is pervasive and obvious.

Black market guns are easily available. If you need to use a black market gun, the legal consequences can be severe.

The war in Ukraine has increased the desire for personal weapons. Many veterans coming back from the front bring their personal weapons with them. They would rather have a gun and not need it, than need it and not have it, regardless of the legal consequences.

In Ukraine, the Ukrainian Association of Gun Owners (UAGO) is pushing for more gun laws. They want clear laws for the right to own guns and to have them for self defense.  The president of UAGO says that in Ukraine, there exists a class of people who are above the law.

In most countries, elites can obtain guns or armed guards if they want them.

It is the common people who are commonly disarmed by the law.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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