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Former Soviet Republic Wants Military Volunteers to Privately Own Firearms

Gabriella Hoffman
by Gabriella Hoffman Read Profile arrow_right_alt

The Baltic Republic of Lithuania, which was the first country to declare independence from the Soviet Union, is considering a move to allow paramilitary volunteers to privately keep firearms at home. The Seimas–Lithuania’s parliament–wants members of the Lithuania Rifleman’s Union and National Defense Volunteer Forces to acquire and keep semi-automatic firearms at home.

A spokesperson for the Rifleman’s Union said this: “We could expand the deterrence potential. The potential enemy will be discouraged, because they would not know how many citizens are armed and able to resist. This will take off some burden from the state and strengthen national defence potential.”

This shouldn’t come as a surprise. In October 2014, more private citizens in the Baltic nation were purchasing firearms for self-defense in wake of threats from Putin’s Russia:

People in the country currently own over 100,000 various pistols, revolvers and different shotguns. Some of them are highly spectacular guns that can be used for more than just self-defence, sports or hunting, but also for a guerrilla war.

Here are the conditions for obtaining firearms in Lithuania, per the 2002 Law on Control of Weapons and Ammunition Act: 

1. Permanent residents of the Republic of Lithuania and legal persons registered in the Republic of Lithuania may acquire and keep weapons, ammunition for the following purposes:

1) hunting;
2) sports;
3) self-defence;
4) professional activities;
5) collection;
6) training;
7) scientific research;
8) other purposes, if they are in conformity with laws and international agreements and treaties.

2. Permanent residents of the Republic of Lithuania and legal persons registered in the Republic of Lithuania shall have the right to acquire ammunition for weapons which they are entitled to possess.

Since Lithuania, like other European Union member states, is at the behest of Brussels, this move to allow private ownership of firearms for military volunteers may get shot down. The E.U. currently boasts some of the world’s most restrictive, Draconian guns laws–making it virtually impossible for individuals to keep and bear arms without going through hurdles to legally obtain them.

The European Union had mulled over more gun control restrictions despite recent terrorist attacks that have befallen the region. Here were their recent proposed gun control amendments:

1. More categories of semi-automatic weapons will be subject to an outright ban. The new ban will apply to “B7” weapons, or “semi-automatic firearms for civilian use which resemble weapons with automatic mechanisms.” EU countries will still be able to issue licenses for some semi-automatic rifles for hunting, collecting and museums.

2. Deactivated weapons are currently treated as pieces of metal that can be traded freely across European borders. That will no longer be possible. “Under no circumstances will civilians be authorized to own any of the most dangerous firearms (e.g. a Kalashnikov), which is currently possible if they have been deactivated,” the proposal states.

3. Gun brokers and dealers will have to be licensed to deal in weapons. Collectors will have to get a license and face background checks even if they only own deactivated weapons. There will also be new limits on the ability to buy gun parts and ammunition online.

4. Tracing guns should become easier thanks to enhanced rules on how guns must be marked and registered. And blank firing weapons will be regulated for the first time because they can be converted to fire live ammunition.

If Lithuania’s parliament votes this in and the E.U. doesn’t interfere, Lithuania will become a safer place thanks to the presence of private firearms.

As demonstrated here in the U.S., the presence of more firearms in the hands of good people leads to fewer bad people committing crime with guns. If it works in the U.S., it can certainly work in Europe. Let’s hope the E.U. realizes it shouldn’t deprive individuals of their gun rights.

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