Russia Changes Law to Allow Guns to be Carried for Self Defense

In 2010, it was reported that the Russian Parliament was considering loosening gun control laws to allow Russians who legally own firearms to carry them for the purposes of self defense. The Russian Justice Minister, Alexander Konovalov was firmly against the possibility. In 2013, it was reported that the Russian organization, Right to Bear Arms, had only 1,000 members.  It was founded by Maria Butina . . .


Now we learn that Russian law has been changed to allow the civil population to carry lethal weapons for self defense.


Until now Russian gun enthusiasts were only permitted to carry firearms for hunting or target shooting after obtaining a license through the Interior Ministry. Russian gun licenses are to be renewed every five years, and applicants face strict background checks and are required to take gun safety courses.

The addendum to the law now lists self-defense as a legally acceptable reason for carrying a weapon.

It is not clear who exactly will be able to qualify to own pistols, for example. It’s not impossible to obtain a license to own a shotgun in Russia, but a person has to be a shotgun owner for several years before they may purchase a rifle.

The change in the law is likely related to a petition submitted by over 100,000 Russians to allow firearms to be used to defend their residences. The petition was submitted in February of 2014, for the third time. There are said to be five million legal firearms owners in Russia, though there are many more who own firearms without legal sanction.

                    Demonstration for the right to bear arms in Moscow

The movement to create a right to bear arms is fairly young in Russia, but it appears to have scored a significant victory.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Gun Watch


  1. avatar Bigred2989 says:

    October Revolution 2: Electric Bugaboo when?

  2. avatar WV Cycling says:

    I find this appropriate –

    1. avatar Jamie in ND says:

      LOL! That was pretty good.

  3. avatar Chris. says:

    Good for them.

    Self-defense is a human right.

    1. avatar John Lilburne says:

      You must be mistaken.

      I don’t see the right of self defense listed under the United Nation’s “Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”

      I mean, isn’t that where we get our rights? From bureaucrats?

      1. avatar Lucas D. says:

        Good, I hoped you were being sarcastic.

        1. avatar twency says:

          You should have your sarcasm detector re-calibrated. Plainly sarc. 🙂

          I hope. 😉

        2. avatar Lucas D. says:

          That third line wasn’t there when he first posted the comment, matey. Take that away and the sarcasm becomes a bit harder to pick up.

      2. avatar Phil says:

        I know it’s sarcasm, but actually there’s Article 3: “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.”

        If everyone has the right to life, liberty AND security of person… therefor anyone has the_right_ to protect his life, his liberty and his security of person. I know, this is not as clear and well written as the US Second Amendment, but there’s still something there.

        1. avatar IdahoPete says:

          You shouldn’t have mentioned that. Now the UN will have to change it to read “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person until the government decides to end that right.”

        2. avatar 2Alpha says:

          With how often people want to “misread” the 2A(which is pretty clear), that seems like a lost cause.

    2. avatar Grindstone says:

      They have a looooooong way to go in the human rights category, but this is a step in the right direction.

  4. avatar ADC USN/Ret says:

    Perhaps they are going to protect their country like we should and have all these years!

    Just do the opposite of this liberal administration and you pretty much get it right!

    1. avatar Roymond says:

      I laugh every time someone calls Obama a liberal or refers to the administration as liberal. Just about every liberal I know complains how they thought they were voting for a liberal but got a corporate sell-out.

      If Obama were a liberal, we wouldn’t have the ridiculous piece of legislation known as the ACA — no self-respecting liberal would require citizens to be customers of giant corporations.

      1. avatar Yellow Devil says:

        Only if you believe every liberal was as pure as the wind driven snow. Ends justify the means. As Senate Democrat Majority Leader Harry Reid once admitted, ACA was only a stepping stone to single payer system. My guess is that they are hoping to collapse the current system in order to swoop in like white (or half-white) knights with a government instituted takeover. Or maybe use the Fabian Socialist approach. Than again, when you regulate any large scale industry to the degree the Federal Government does with banks, medical or insurance industries, the line between crony capitalism and socialism is indeed blurred.

  5. avatar jwm says:

    First the czars, then the commisars and now Putin. Russia has never been a free country. Not long ago a girl band went to prison for singing about Putin.

    Any step in the direction of legal gun use is a major step. Good on them.

  6. avatar Neil D says:

    When I hear anything about Russia and guns I think about these two links:
    Way fewer guns than in the U.S. and way higher intentional homicide rate.
    Appears to be no correlation at all between these two except possibly a reverse correlation.
    Not sure what is going on in Russia but they must be a bunch of homicidal maniacs even without their guns.

    1. avatar whatever says:

      As de Tocqueville would say, Russian and the U.S. share many similarities. We’re both frontier cultures, and with that comes a propensity to solve problems through individual initiative. This means the criminal class is more likely to resort to their version of individual initiative, violence.

      Our historical solution is to liberalize gun ownership so good guys can keep the bad guys in check. Russia’s historical solution was to disarm the populace and centralize police authority. As you can plainly see, our solution has more-or-less worked while theirs has repeatedly failed. If we implemented Russia’s historical solution, our violence rates would easily match theirs.

  7. avatar Tactical mall ninja says:

    Is it possible that Russia of all places will eventually have more freedom as defined by our founding fathers then many places in the United States? I’m looking at you, MD, NY, NJ, MA, awww hell who am I kidding, I’m looking at the east coast everything North of TN and West to CO. And yes I see you hiding over there CA, OR, and WA.

    Oh the irony!

    1. avatar m11nine says:

      I have only been building more respect for Russia the past few years.

      I hope we don’t start a war with them, since economic sanctions are basically an act of war in itself.

      1. avatar Stacy says:

        You’re kidding, right? It’s a dictatorship run by an unreconstructed cold warrior who’s started several wars now trying to reassemble the Soviet empire. What exactly do you respect about Russia?

        1. avatar Neil D says:

          Have to agree with Stacy on this.

        2. avatar futile ism says:

          Exactly how many wars has Putin started? BTW for one thing Russia’s debt to GDP is only around 13% . That’s pretty dang respectable.

        3. avatar Grindstone says:

          Maybe he likes that they banned the gays?

        4. avatar m11nine says:

          Mainly a right direction/wrong direction comparison.

          I suggest you follow RT news, where this story came from, you can get a very different view of world politics.

        5. avatar whatever says:

          I respect Russian grit and initiative, but I’m less than impressed with their authoritarianism and frequent imperialistic warmongering. Ukraine, Poland and the Baltics should also liberalize their gun laws to keep Russia in check and in their own yard.

        6. avatar Pg2 says:

          Started several wars? What are you smoking?

        7. avatar Grindstone says:

          Oh, yes. RT News. You mean the State-run media channel. Yes, you sure do get a different “view” from them.

        8. avatar Geoff PR says:

          “Started several wars? What are you smoking?”

          The Russian-Georgian war of August 2008…

          2014 Russian military intervention in Ukraine

      2. avatar Sixpack70 says:

        Путин хуйло!

        1. avatar Geoff PR says:

          English translation: Putin is a Dickhead…

    2. avatar residentCT says:

      Don’t forget the fascist state of Connecticut! Thanks to Gov Dan Mallory!

  8. avatar Ralph says:

    Does Bill DeBlasio know that this is the new commie doctrine? ‘Cause if he does — gun rights in New York City! Yay!

    1. avatar int19h says:

      Historically, communists have always supported strong gun rights in bourgeois democracies. Makes proletarian revolution that much easier.

      1. You are 180 degrees out of phase on this. The Soviets and Communists have always been strongly in favor of disarmed citizens.

        1. avatar int19h says:

          Re-read what I wrote. They support gun rights in _bourgeois democracies_ – the formation that they believe inevitably precedes the communist revolution. After the revolution, it’s a whole other kettle of fish.

        2. Not that I have seen. All the Soviet and Chinese propaganda that I have seen on the issue castigated the U.S. for allowing it citizens to have so many guns. All the pro-communist groups in the U.S. are pro-gun control, that I recall.

          Feel free to come up with counter examples. Why do you think that they support gun rights in “bourgeois democracies”?

        3. avatar Drewlssix says:

          Have you considered that the countries passing as communist may in fact be simple dictatorships using communism as an idealistic veil? Like so many “republks” out there. None of those places you named even come close to the Marxist ideology. IMO it is simply proof that Communism is a fantasy that can’t exist so long as humans are the subject.

        4. avatar int19h says:

          Soviet (after Stalin) and Chinese (from the get go) communist parties should more properly be called social fascist – they abandoned most of the original Marxist rhetoric and went into full on totalitarian state mode (to remind, the original premise that Marx had wrt communism is that it was supposed to be a classless and stateless society – so anyone who’s preaching the virtues of a strong state for anything other than a transitional period is basically not a communist by definition). The other aspect of it is that Soviets never missed an opportunity to criticize the West over anything they could possibly think of, including things that were also problems (just not publicized ones) for themselves. “And you are lynching negroes” was a keystone of anti-US Soviet propaganda, even when USSR was deporting whole nations, or later when it was persecuting Jews.

          OTOH, if you look at Russia before Stalin – basically, in the aftermath of the Bolshevik revolution, ruled by Lenin and his cadre – they had a very utilitarian approach to this. For example, in 1918, Lenin enacted a decree promoting gun ownership for the “working people” (workers and peasants), and requiring disarmament of “hostile classes” (bourgeois). This same thing was written into the Constitution of RSFSR. Later on, they basically made ownership conditional on party membership (but it’s still a huge category, to remind, there were over 10 million people in the party).

  9. avatar Dave357 says:

    Looks like they made an obscure change in the gun law which created an ambiguity that some interpreted as allowing uncased long guns to be carried for self-defense, which caused some excitement in the press. The Ministry of Internal Affairs clarified that this was just a technical correction. According to the spokesman, only non-lethal handguns could and still can be carried with a proper license (may issue?) – and that means no firearms outside one’s home (unless hunting or while engaged in shooting sports).

    This will likely go away, although stranger things have happened. I would certainly wait for the final word on this.

    1. avatar int19h says:

      This exactly. Nothing to see here, move along. Russia still sucks big time as far as gun laws go, and self-defense laws are a nightmare (it still has the concept of “limits of admissible self-defense”, meaning that if you shoot someone who was trying to stick you with a knife, you have a good chance of ending in prison for murder).

      Read this (run through Google Translate as needed) for details:

    2. avatar Wasder says:

      As a Russian citizen and a gun owner, I confirm what Dave said.
      There have been no major changes.
      We still can’t legally own or carry handguns, apart from crappy less-lethal versions.
      We can only purchase a rifle after owning a shotgun for five years.
      For every weapon you need to apply for a separate license for purchase, all guns are to be registered with the police.
      The recent changes amount to technicalities and a couple of nice perks, like being able to transport 1000 rounds of ammo at a time, instead of just 400.

      1. Thank you for the on the ground information. It is very valuable.

  10. avatar Taylor TX says:

    In Soviet Russia, gun defends you!

    1. avatar Tactical mall ninja says:

      In Soviet Russia Gov protects you. Civilian Guns not needed.

  11. avatar fishydude says:

    When Putin is done disarming Ukraine they will have a lot of “used” guns for sale in Russia.
    Of course mostly to former KGB and Commi party members.

  12. avatar Neil D says:

    Another link with “facts” that seem to conflict with those in this article.

    1. avatar Roymond says:

      An article over a year old? Not terribly useful, that.

    1. avatar bontai Joe says:

      That link is so funny on several levels. a BIG THANK YOU for that!

    2. avatar Hogh Gewalt says:

      Please explain the humor in this image? I don’t get it. Seriously… 😛

      I just saw this while searching for information about the Russian gun rights group whose leader was indicted today under the Foreign Agent Registration Act. Don’t really know what to think about that because there’s so much countervailing information.

  13. avatar Steve in MD says:

    Meanwhile in The People’s Republic of Maryland….

  14. avatar Milsurp Collector says:

    Good on the Russians for trying to bury their past and bring change from within, ’cause we all know a little cosmetic work on their flag hasn’t done jack in 23 years.

  15. avatar SouthernPatriot says:

    I wish the citizenry of Russia well. Self-defense carrying is an excellent reason, and though I hope the Putin puppets in Parliament will approve of this, I have my doubts. Fake strongmen do not want competition.

  16. avatar former water walker says:

    Sorry folks I don’t believe this BS. And I have NO idea how one could verify this…

  17. avatar Sixpack70 says:

    In Soviet Russia, you do not shoot AK, AK shoots you!

  18. avatar RLC2 says:

    Don’t doubt for a minute that permits are issued to the connected, and once registered can be confiscated.
    You aren’t gonna see the mafia, or chechens applying.

    Russia under Putin is an oligarchy of corrupt elites, run by a ruthless former KGB sociopath with dreams of neo-czarist empire building. You might as well move to Mexico if you fancy yourself an internationale loving elite. Warmer, too.

    1. avatar Allen says:

      An oligarchy of corrupt elites? Oh, you were talking about russia.

      1. avatar RLC2 says:

        Heh. I see what you did.
        Tambien, en Mexico del Norte, con Emperor Brown, y Nitwitistas de Sacramento.

      2. avatar whatever says:

        @Allen The US is far from perfect but it is not nearly the equivalent to Russia. They’re much more corrupt and far more flagrant in abridging individual rights and economic independence.

  19. avatar Roymond says:

    Maybe Putin got bored an read Machiavelli?

  20. avatar v v ind says:

    Dean do you OR do you not have a thing for redheaded Russian women?

    1. My mother was a red head.

      1. avatar Timmy! says:

        I’m just glad to see Amy Pond again, out and about.

    2. avatar bontai Joe says:

      I sure have a weakness for them. And I indeed think of it as a weakness. I had my heart broken bad and would still do it over, even though if I had stayed with her longer, I’d probably be dead long ago (with a smile on my face)

  21. avatar Cinncinatus says:

    That Maria Butina… She seems nice!

  22. avatar Royal Tony says:

    Has anyone seen the photo posted on RT’s story? Are those 12 gauge pepperbox guns? If that is what I’m seeing, hot damn. That will hurt on either end of the firearm. I’d imagine they sell it with a vodka stock, you finish the bottle and it feels just like a Monte Carlo. /end shameless Russian joke

    1. avatar Royal Tony says:

      Nevermind I checked the photo more closely and looked up 18.5 x 55. They are WASP “non-lethal multifunctional pistols”.

      Better than nothing I guess, but enterprising individuals could devise ammunition more effective than what they have available. Looks to be the German version of flare guns sold as really cool SD weapons to us.

  23. avatar Toby in KS says:

    I wonder how the 2A tug-O-war might change here in the USA if the NRA Chairperson looked like this lady (young, attractive, professional), and all the spokespersons were cut from like fabric?

    Honestly. She is easy to look at and comfortable to listen to. The softness of her presentation is welcoming and disarming, while maintaining an intelligent, confident assertiveness that the job requires.

    To make my point more clear, who might be more effective at wooing more adherents to 2A causes: A) The American equivalent of Butina, or B) Ted Nugent?

    Don’t get me wrong, I find Ted to be the kind of guy I would like to spend a weekend hunting with. That would be a blast! I just wish gun rights spokespersons were more like Maria Butina.

    1. avatar whatever says:

      So Amy Robbins for NRA Chairperson?

  24. avatar cmeat says:

    “um, i had a cat.”
    “is dog now.”

  25. avatar Miles Jory says:

    Good for you People of Russia. Never ever let them take them away from you. It is your God given right.

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