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disarm the Poles. Do we relax the right to arms?

disarm the Poles.  Do we relax the right to arms?

Blanca Alexusca

There are proposals back for shooting lessons in schools and easy access to firearms. Should the Poles be able to arm themselves?

The Poles are considered one of the most demilitarized countries in Europe and in the world. According to research, there are about 2.5 firearms per hundred inhabitants of Poland – this is tens or even tens of times less than that of a hundred citizens of other European countries.

For example, according to the last Small Arms Survey 2018, there are 19.6 for every hundred German and French, and 27.6 for every hundred Swiss. Citizens of Balkan countries own the largest number of weapons, such as Serbia (39), Montenegro (39) and Bosnia and Herzegovina (31.2).

In theory, access to firearms in Poland is subject to relatively strict restrictions. Should these rules be edited? The discussion on this topic goes back to Poland mainly because of the Russian aggression against Ukraine. War abroad raises the question of whether we are able to defend ourselves in the event of a threat.

However, the issue of acquiring weapons has stirred controversy for years. It is fueled by many shootings that we observe mainly in the United States. In the past few weeks alone, there have been two notable gun massacres – in Ovaldi, Texas, and in Buffalo, New York. Firearms attacks still occur in individual countries.

In Poland, there have recently been proposals to liberalize access to weapons and shooting classes in schools. The Ministry of National Education wants to offer such lessons from September. One advocate for this solution is also the Children’s Ombudsman, Mikowaj Pawlak.

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What does the opposition say? – I support learning how to use and handle weapons. I took lessons myself in high school, and we learned to shoot. This is a good qualification – assesses Tomasz Siemoniak, MP for PO and former Minister of National Defense. He adds that marksmanship training was and should be an element of public defense training. – These are also lessons in providing first aid and recognizing warning signs. Our interlocutor believes that learning to shoot and use a weapon will not harm anyone.

The assumption of liberating civilian access to weapons is more controversial.

– I think that using the war in Ukraine as a justification is inappropriate. I am against relaxing these rules

– Refers to the former head of the Ministry of National Defense.

Yaroslav Sachaiko, deputy for K’15, sees this issue completely differently. A group of Kukizers and PiS lawmakers introduced a new bill a few weeks ago, which is to “prevent access to firearms for law-abiding citizens”.

– If someone is healthy and unpunished and wants to spend their money on guns and ammo to learn how to handle a gun, why protect them? We must also comply with EU law – a few years ago, an EU directive was put in place that divides weapons and permits into categories according to their firing range and firing rate. Such solutions are included in our invoice, which we provided to the Marshal’s Cane. I hope this law will be addressed soon

– Sachaiko tells us.

In his opinion, conflating the massacre in the United States with this issue is inappropriate, since local law allows anyone to buy weapons without any control – even mental health. And the law in Poland is not ordinary either.

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– The policeman himself arbitrarily decides whether a person can own a weapon or not. Many people try to circumvent these rules, suddenly “become” an athlete and discover a passion for shooting sports. He praises the sports organization and must attend competitions several times a year. Or suddenly become excited about hunting – a fee for another organization that can issue gun licenses – says MP K’15. He adds:

– The Poles began to take weapons from the invaders and the municipality kept them. At the moment we have some ridiculous regulations that have led to the fact that people in Poland do not have guns and are still afraid of them.

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