Gun law in Ukraine

Ukrainian law allows firearm ownership on may-issue basis. With approximately 10 civilian firearms per 100 people, Ukraine is the 88th most armed country in the world per capita, and 22nd overall.


Ukraine is the only country in Europe where firearms are not regulated by statute. Everything related to firearms is regulated by Order №622 of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Citizens are permitted to own non-fully automatic rifles and shotguns as long as they are stored properly when not in use.

Handguns are illegal except for target shooting, those who hold concealed carry permits, and handguns awarded for service.[1] Concealed carry licenses are available, but are not normally issued unless a threat to life is present and can be proven.[2]

A license is required to own firearms, and a citizen may be issued a license if that person:

  • is 25 years of age for rifle ownership, 21 years of age for smoothbore weapon ownership, 18 years of age for cold or pneumatic weapon ownership;
  • has no criminal record;
  • has no history of domestic violence;
  • has no mental illness or history of mental illness;
  • has a good reason (target shooting, hunting, collection).

Once a license is issued, all guns must be kept unloaded and in a safe.

Because of the lack of statutes regarding firearm ownership, authorities have great discretion when giving firearm licenses. The president and ministers often give guns to members of the elite, while making it hard for ordinary people to obtain them. It is estimated that more than 50,000 guns have been issued as presents from authorities.[3]

Gun owners are required by order to renew their licenses and registration of their guns every three years. Failure to comply will result in revocation of the license, as well as confiscation of guns. There is a 10-round magazine limit for rifles.[4]

Limited categories of citizens like People's Deputies of Ukraine, judges, journalists and some others may own trauma pistols that fire rubber bullets.

On February 23, 2022, following the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine and a declaration of a state of emergency the Ukrainian parliament approved a law which gives citizens the right to carry weapons outside their homes for the purpose of self defense [5][6][7]

On February 24, 2022 Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy said "We will give weapons to anyone who wants to defend the country. Be ready to support Ukraine in the squares of our cities" in a tweet. As of February 26, 2022 over 25,000 automatic rifles, 10 million rounds of ammunition and unknown numbers RPGs have been handed out to civilians according to Interior Minister Denis Monastyrsky. All one needs to get a rifle is an I.D. card. Open training has been organized for civilians by war veterans throughout Kyiv.[8][9][10][11][12]

Firearm ownershipEdit

According to the database of the National Police of Ukraine there are 892,854 registered firearms in Ukraine as of July 31, 2018.[13] Small Arms Survey estimates that there are 3,596,000 illegal firearms in Ukraine as of 2017.[14]


The political parties Svoboda, Right Sector and National Corps have the position that the population should keep and bear arms, as in the United States.[15][16][17][18]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Ministry of Internal Affairs order № 622 (in Ukrainian)". Verkhovna Rada. November 7, 1998.
  2. ^ "Guns in Ukraine: Firearms, armed violence and gun law". 2001-05-07. Retrieved 2014-04-19.
  3. ^ "Activists seek legalization of gun ownership in nation". KyivPost. April 13, 2018.
  4. ^ "Ministry of Internal Affairs order № 622 (in Ukrainian)". Verkhovna Rada. November 7, 1998.
  5. ^ Reuters (2022-02-23). "Ukraine MPs vote to give permission for civilians to carry firearms". Reuters. Retrieved 2022-02-24.
  6. ^ "Ukraine calls up reservists, declares national emergency as U.S. and allies hit Russia with new sanctions". Retrieved 2022-02-24.
  7. ^ "Business brisk at Kyiv gun shops as Ukrainians rush to buy arms". the Guardian. 2022-02-23. Retrieved 2022-02-24.
  8. ^ Zitser, Joshua. "Video reportedly shows Ukrainian men helping themselves to guns on a Kyiv street after all 18-60 years were urged to take up arms and fight the Russian invasion". Business Insider. Retrieved 2022-02-26.
  9. ^ Coleman, Julie. "Ukraine is calling on its citizens to join the fight against Russia, and its military says all they need is ID". Business Insider. Retrieved 2022-02-26.
  10. ^ "Kyiv residents say they're "not ready to give up" as they're given guns to help defend their city". Retrieved 2022-02-26.
  11. ^ Casiano, Louis (2022-02-24). "Ukraine president says he will give weapons to citizens who want to defend country". Fox News. Retrieved 2022-02-26.
  12. ^ "'Weapons to anyone': Across Ukraine, militias form as Russian forces near". Washington Post. 2022-02-26. Archived from the original on 26 February 2022. Retrieved 2022-02-26.
  13. ^ "Ukrainians are Getting Armed". WarsawInstitute. August 21, 2018.
  14. ^ "Civilian Firearms Holdings, 2017" (PDF). Small Arms Survey. Retrieved 2022-05-25.
  15. ^ Azar, Ilya (10 March 2014). «Мы — не вооруженные силы»: Интервью с одним из лидеров украинского «Правого сектора» ['We are not the armed forces': Interview with one of the leaders of the Ukrainian 'Right Sector']. (in Russian). Nationalists from the fighting movement Right Sector … are depicted as neo-Nazis by Russian state TV channels.… The head of the Kiev branch explained to … how it intends to deal with the Russian army in case of military invasion.… 'We believe that people should be armed. As in Switzerland.…'
  16. ^ Gorchinskaya, Katya. "Svoboda tames radicals to get into parliament". Kyiv Post. Retrieved 22 November 2012.
  17. ^ Kramer, Andrew (21 March 2014). "Deadline is set for militias in uprising to surrender their illegal guns". New York Times. p. A12. 'It's not normal to ask people to hand in their weapons in the situation we have now,' Dmytro Yarosh, the leader of a right-wing paramilitary group, Right Sector, said in an interview this week.… Mr. Yarosh said lawyers with his group were drafting a bill for consideration in Parliament that was modeled on Swiss notions of firearms possession, in which an armed population is seen as a quick deterrent against a foreign invasion. 'Allow people to keep weapons at home,' Mr. Yarosh said, describing the logic of gun ownership in the context of Ukraine. 'Then, when the enemy walks down the streets of your country, you can shoot him right from your own window.'…
  18. ^ Volunteer battalion Azov members and former members create National Corps political party, Interfax-Ukraine (14 October 2016)