Ukraine lawmakers vote to authorize civilian carry of firearms

Russian forces are moving deeper into Ukrainian territory by the hour, but a new draft law out of Ukraine’s parliament could be a strong deterrent against a full takeover of the Eastern European state.

According to Reuters, parliament approved a law allowing citizen carry of firearms for self-defense on Wednesday, just before the Russian invasion of the country.

“The adoption of this law is fully in the interests of the state and society,” the authors of the legislation said in a statement.

The law was needed to counter “existing threats and dangers for the citizens of Ukraine,” the statement noted.

According to Business Insider, Ukrainian law forbid citizens from carrying firearms outside their homes.

“Now it’s the intention of the parliament is to liberalize ownership of armaments by citizens,” Dmytro Shulga, European Program Director at the International Renaissance Foundation, a Kyiv-based NGO, told Business Insider.

“And I think that this is very popular news now.”

Ukrainians already learn how to shoot at school, The Guardian noted, and roughly 400,000 of its citizens have combat experience.

That leads to high levels of gun ownership already. However, the crisis led to a rush at gun stores, with AR-10 and AR-15 rifles selling out.

“Of course I’m worried about the situation,” Dariia Olexandrivna told The Guardian, who interviewed her at a gun store in Kyiv.

“I’m hoping for the best but preparing for everything.”

That preparation should come in handy, unfortunately.

The Associated Press reported that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had moved “to the outskirts of the capital Friday after unleashing airstrikes on cities and military bases and sending in troops and tanks from three sides in an attack that could rewrite the global post-Cold War security order.”

While concealed carry laws may not make much of a difference in the short term, that plus more guns could make any long-term occupation more bloody and difficult for the Russians.