Brief summary: Russian laws for civilians

  • No handguns, no full-auto. Very rare exception -- retired high-rank officers guns given in reward, usually such guns carry rich engraving and golden plates with officer name, congratulations, etc; it's only exception when civilian given license for the rest of life;
  • Anything designed with intentions to make a weapon is a weapon. E.g. iron rod from the nearest dump is not a weapon, but if you'll wrap one end with duct tape to make a handle, you'll make a weapon. Very fishy;
  • In fact, any tool able to obtain projectile energy more than 7,5 joules and caliber more than 4,5 mm counts as a firearm. Law on Weapons says "and" in the phrase about limitations on the muzzle energy and caliber, so in theory it's possible to design a 4 mm pneumatic gun with muzzle energy more than 7,5 joules, but another place in the law states: anything with muzzle energy more than 25 joules counts as firearm. Currently these rules about airguns are not strictly enforced. Sometimes I see "Diana", "Hunter" and other powerful airguns in gunshops. Alas, their price is far out of my reach :(
  • There are a lot of gas handguns, these silly and poor quality firearms with blade inside the barrel and tear gas ammunition. Mainly useless, because CS is too weak against drunk and half-drunk goblins. Some people believe in the "psychological" effect. Yeah. Require license, like license for hunting weapon. Loading anything except tear gas ammunition is prohibited (though some guys load salt or some small lead balls into blanks -- it's illegal and leads to losing license and serious troubles with law). License must be renewed every 5 years. Total expenses to obtain the license are around $80. Also, our law allows self-defense. That means if you'll draw a gas gun and will try to scare away crooks, they'll have a big chance to kill you ('cause these gas guns are weak) and get away with it in the court (you'll be unable to prove that you were defending party). That's why I carry UDAR and 4-cell Mag-Lite;
  • Shotguns and rifles available, but you need a license to buy and keep them. License can be obtained (if you don't have any criminal records) without problems, except price. This hobby eats hoards of money. But all weapons must be kept in the safe with gun and cartriges apart, and you can transport them only in the disassembled condition, so they are useless as tools of self-defense. Ugh. Well, there is a hole in the law :) "Saiga" shotguns (AK-like .410 and 20 ga) are "disassembled" when you remove magazine. So you can drop "Saiga" on the seat and hide magazines in the pocket. Everything is ok and you can always insert magazine pretty quickly. But transporting hunting weapons when season is closed is difficult and can put you in the trouble. Self-defense is not an excuse when it comes to firearms outside your home! Note, that you can keep shotgun at home for self-defense, but only on your own property, i.e. only in your flat. Steel entrace door and outer grating on windows protects better than License must be renewed every 5 years;
  • Tear gas and pepper spray are legal without any licenses;
  • Tasers and anything powered with electricity are prohibited, unless made in Russia. Our stun guns are lousy. Really. They are limited to max 60,000V and 1,5 joules (these numbers are not exact);
  • Rumor: Handcuffs requre license, obtainable only by security companies, etc; I saw some handcuffs available in the shop, but they were too crappy to hold a strong man. Fishy area;
  • Any bludgeoning weapon is a big no-no for civilian. There is a special entry in the Law on Weapons prohibiting any bludgeoning weapon;
  • Airguns outside of sport building or range are prohibited if their muzzle energy is more than 7,5 joules and caliber > 4.5mm, otherwise they doesn't require license. Hunting with airguns prohibited completely.

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Last modified: Saturday, 14-Aug-1999 23:06:22 MSD

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