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Tags: ukraine | gun rights | second amendment

Ukraine's Second Amendment

Ukraine gun
A member of Ukraine's Territorial Defense Forces grips her rifle while at her post on June 15 near Kramatorsk, Ukraine. (Scott Olson/Getty Images

By    |   Tuesday, 21 June 2022 04:20 PM EDT

The war in Ukraine moves onward, with Russia's relentless attacks on the battered yet resilient nation not stopping.

Nonetheless, Ukraine is sticking to her guns — literally.

According to GunPolicy.org, "Ukraine inherited the Soviet civilian gun control system, which provides for restrictive gun owner licensing and the registration of all firearms."

Ukrainians "couldn't own handguns legally, only hunting guns," Nataliya Melnyk, communications director for the Ukraine-based Bendukidze Free Market Center, told Newsmax, "Handguns were award weapons."

Everything changed with Russia's Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine.

Just a day prior, according to Reuters, Ukraine's parliament, known as the Verkhovna Rada, approved legislation that allows civilians to carry firearms. Supported by 274 deputies (Members of Parliament) out of 450, the legislation was adopted resoundingly.

As fighting ravages throughout the nation, trained civilians have been handed weapons by the government of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to protect themselves and their country.

The weapons, however, do come at a cost. Once fighting dwindles in a given area, gun rights are stripped away. Guns must then be handed back to governing authorities.

On April 21, the Ministry of Defense, through the former commander of the Territorial Defense Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, General Yuriy Galushkin, posted on the instant messaging service Telegram about gun rights. The post (translated to English by Google Translate) said: "Some of our regions have been liberated from the occupiers and there is no fighting. In these areas, we need to perform tasks related to the reconstruction of our cities and villages, restore the economy, return to work. That is why in these regions it is time to concentrate weapons in certain storage areas. You will take care of her, take her for training and, if necessary, get her to complete tasks. We will keep the gunpowder dry. Proper storage of weapons is very important so that at a critical moment it can be quickly used and used against our enemy — the Russian troops."

Melnyk voiced her view that of course Ukrainians do not want to give back their weapons to governing authorities.

"A lot of people (questioned) why do you need a weapon?" said Melnyk, but now it is "nearly impossible to get a time slot at a shooting range because so many Ukrainians went in to learn how to shoot a gun."

The whole ordeal of gun ownership is a back-and-forth game in Ukraine, with progress some days and backtracking on others, according to Melnyk.

There was the "idea that we do not [need] weapons for self-defense," she told us, "We were a peaceful nation."

But violence and oppression can knock at anyone's door — even that of a peaceful nation. Gun rights are debated around the globe constantly. Even here in the United States, the debate over the right to keep and bear arms continues to polarize society.

As the Russo-Ukraine War unfolds, the world will watch to see what becomes of Ukraine and just what happens to its newfound right to keep and bear arms. 

Micah Hart, a Newsmax intern, is studying politics and journalism at Hillsdale College in Michigan.

© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

The war in Ukraine moves onward, with Russia's relentless attacks on the battered yet resilient nation not stopping. Nonetheless, Ukraine is sticking to her guns - literally.
ukraine, gun rights, second amendment
Tuesday, 21 June 2022 04:20 PM
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