Amendment of the Law on Arms and Ammunition in Solidarity with Poland

The parliamentary draft of the next amendment to the Weapons and Ammunition Act, supported by Solidarna Polska, should respond to what is happening beyond the eastern border and aim at strengthening national defence.

– We introduce in in this project a new starting point for access to weapons in the form of a condition for national defenceWe are also rationalizing a lot of regulations on access to weapons, especially significantly facilitating access to weapons for former soldiers and officers, Deputy Justice Minister Marcin Romanowski said at the press conference.

Member of Parliament Anna Maria Siarkowska stressed that the Solidarity Poland project is not a liberalization of access to arms, but “rationalization and ensuring access to them, primarily for soldiers of the armed forces, territorial defense and members of pro-defense organisations. “

– In this project, we are moving out of the current system, in which there were targets for which this weapon was owned, in favor of the weapons category. And this category of weapons – in accordance with the EU directive – is implemented in Polish law. In addition, it is the status of a professional soldier, a soldier of territorial military service, as well as the status of an active reserve soldier that will enable these officers to possess military weapons, Siarkowska argued.

Assumptions of the Solidarity Poland project

The concept is based on a division into categories A, B (these are small arms) and C, with category A being a particularly dangerous weapon. The new arms distribution is based on its technical characteristics and gives the possibility to classify licenses according to experience and the level of knowledge and skills.

The draft establishes three types of firearms licenses:

  • 1st degree permit authorizes the purchase and possession of category C weapons and ammunition for this weapon, including the production of such ammunition for personal use,
  • 2nd degree permit – entitles the holder to acquire and possess weapons of subcategories A6, A7, category B or C and ammunition for this weapon, including the manufacture of such ammunition for his own use,
  • 3rd degree license – authorizes the purchase and possession of weapons of subcategory A2-A9, category B or C and ammunition for this weapon, including the manufacture of such ammunition for personal use.

The individual categories are specified in the appendix to the project. According to the members of Solidarna Polska, the proposed system should be more transparent and aim to shorten the time needed for the issuing of an administrative decision by the competent authority. The draft also proposes – as the authors emphasize – allowing current and former soldiers and officers of the uniformed services, as well as persons in active reserve, to apply for a permit. The project also provides training organized by pro-defense organizations working with the Ministry of National Defence. It also extends the registration time of a firearm from 5 to 7 days and clarifies the rules for storing, carrying and carrying firearms. It also introduces solutions related to the new form of regulation for the safe operation of shooting ranges

Also read: The war abroad is not an argument when applying for a weapons license, but there is a new project>>

According to experts, the third project is political

According to lawyer Andrzej Turczyn, board member of the Civic Movement of Arms Lovers, three draft laws on weapons and ammunition are far too many, so none of them make it to the final. He recalls that two other bills are already in the Sejm. The Kukiz’15 project also aims to simplify the firearms licensing procedure and move away from the “discretion” of the licensing authority. It also provides easier access to weapons for soldiers of the Polish Armed Forces, including soldiers of the Territorial Forces, and officers of other armed state formations. The Republican Party also submitted its project, which emphasizes easier access to weapons for organizations that register their statutes with the Department of National Defense, the Department of the Interior and Administration, or the Department of Sports.

Submitting as many as three, rather disparate, proposals is simply a legislative sabotage of this whole idea of ​​facilitating access to weapons. After all, the two previous projects already have the opinion of the Sejm Analysis Bureau. The legislative process could start now, but it won’t startbecause now we will have to wait for the judgment of the BAS on this third project. The latter project is an ordinary political show, says Andrzej Turczyn. And he points out how to create one of the three projects.

The project has many gaps

Jarosław Grzelka, a forensic expert, expert on firearms, ammunition and ballistics, believes that changes to the Weapons and Ammunition Act are necessary because, in many cases, the regulations are archaic, inconsistent and inconsistent with current reality. But as such a serious law indicates, it cannot be written on the knee, but should be widely consulted, not only with shooting enthusiastsbut also with experts in the field of weapons technology, for example, experts from the Military Institute of Armament Technology, the environment of fighters, etc.

You have to be very careful who the act is adding weapons to. Wearing a uniform alone should not automatically entitle you to firearms. This requires additional conditions and above all demonstration of active participation in training classes – says Jarosław Grzelka.

It indicates the importance of enforcing the rules of a shooting license, which performs a function analogous to a driving license in road traffic. He points to the omission of crossbows, which may be even more dangerous than firearms, as well as certain types of batons. Notes that the drafters lack consistency, because on the one hand the draft emphasizes that it deviates from the distribution of the firearms license for the purposes for which the weapon was held in favor of the weapons category, but on the other hand there are still references to the objectives in the provisions of the regulations training and sport. According to Jarosław Grzelek, the design defines too broadly ‘the operator of the shooting range’ defined as a person authorized by the owner or operator of the shooting range, who has received training in shooting and the provision of pre-medical assistance in entities providing such training.

– What does it mean, received training in how to perform shooting. This can raise questions of interpretation. I repeat, the corrections are necessary, but they must be well thought out and refined – says Jarosław Grzelka.

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