By Paul Goble
The Kalashnikov arms company is calling for the Duma to amend Russian law so that Russian citizens will be allowed to own as many as 10 guns each, to ease restrictions on purchasing certain kinds of weapons, and to allow gun sellers to provide more training to gun owners (echo.msk.ru/news/2234904-echo.html).
It may be that the firm assumes that in today’s depressed economy, such a change would allow it to make more money and keep more of its employees, and that consequently the Russian government will be more disposed to support its ideas than it has shown itself to be in the past.
In reporting this initiative today, Ekho Moskvy said that if the Duma were to agree to this proposal, it would become far easier for Russians to buy and use weapons and that almost certainly that would have “sad consequences” for the country where the use of weapons during the commission of crimes is increasingly common.
According to Russian experts, there are at least 25 million guns in private hands in Russia today, just over one for every six Russians in all; and some 80 percent of these are held illegally without the necessary government registration and restrictions. The proposed measure would likely increase both of these numbers (windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2017/01/80-percent-of-25-million-guns-now-in.html).
Debates about gun ownership have been going on in Russia since the early 1990s, with Russian supporters and Russian opponents of any change in gun ownership rules echoing those in other countries (windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2017/10/russians-now-fighting-over-gun-control.html).