Americans are slowly starting to consider introducing federal restrictions on gun access, while in Poland, for example, ideas are going the other way. The Russian attack on Ukraine is also somewhat conducive to the discussion about access to weapons – liberalization is postulated. Solidarna Polska has just presented her project – are we going to expand access to weapons?
Expanding access to weapons
As described in her online edition of the industry magazine “Milmag”, Solidarna Polska presented a draft law based on the extension of access to weapons. The form of the regulation, although the authors themselves speak of “rationalisation” and not of “liberalisation”, is in the direction of facilitating access. Before I get into the details, of course, it’s not that the concept changes are absurd. In many ways, these are reasonable solutions, or they heal the current – largely flawed – law.
Member of Parliament Anna Maria Siarkowska (PiS) mentioned the threat to security in Europe during the presentation of the bill. Referring to case Lithuania (claiming that the Weapons Act has changed significantly there, although short arms have generally been available there relatively easily for a long time) stated that it is justified above all to facilitate access to weapons for current or former uniformed persons – because this is one of the most important changes are those included in the in-project.
Anna Maria Siarkowska rightly noted that Poland is the penultimate place in Europe in terms of the number of weapons per 100 inhabitants. The Vatican is the last. She pointed out that since all other European countries have more weapons and Poland is a frontline country, changes need to be made urgently. There were also statements that the project is not a liberalization, but a rationalization. And this is motivated by increasing the defense potential of the state. The source portal analyzed the project and referred in the proposed regulations to the solutions currently in force in the Weapons and Ammunition Act.
As noted by “Milmag”, the first significant change is the abolition of the existing categorization of weapons. Another revolution is that weapons cease to exist: melee weapons, gas throwers, string weapons (also the title crossbows) and stun guns. The essential parts of the weapon are no longer the baskila and the cartridge-chambered barrel, but only the barrels themselves. A definition of the loading mechanism will be introduced (there is no distinction between the magazine and the loading mechanism, currently there is no distinction).
What will change?
According to the project, we can say goodbye to the categories of weapons licenses (for sports, hunting, collecting, protection of people and property, self-defense) in favor of classes – I, II and III. Grade I entitles you to acquire and possess Category C weapons and ammunition (and ammunition production), Grade II entitles you to Category B or C (and subcategories A6 and A7), and Grade III entitles you to weapons of subcategory A2-A9, category B or C and ammunition.
Because the purposes of permits disappear, they are simply issued in justified cases. These cases include membership in organizations such as PZŁ, PZS (and others), shooting clubs, pro-defense organizations, or collectors’ associations. According to the project, a justified premise is also (as it is now) a constant and above-average threat to life, health and property. The license would also be granted to purchasers of weapons by inheritance, gift or decoration, military and former military (and serving in other armed formations)
Training influences the achievement of the license level (I-III). For the first degree, training (confirmed by a certificate) is sufficient, in the case of the second and third degree, the project authors set more detailed requirements. The limit on which no permit is required for historical weapons and their replicas (black powder) is being pushed back. Instead of the current production year of 1885, it will be 1900. There are not 5, but 7 days for the registration of the weapon.
The option to withdraw the license also lapses if the facts on which it was issued cease to exist (for example, removal from the association). It will also be possible to borrow weapons (written form required) without any hindrance, not like now. The changes are far-reaching. However, it should be remembered that this is not liberalization and that the project was created by Solidarna Polska. We are happy to remove absurd obstacles (such as lending, application deadlines, reasons for revocation of a permit or ammunition limits). It is interesting, however, to open up the possibility of access to weapons through membership of pro-defense associations, for example.