How many citizens support the legalization of civilian firearms

October 2022
Survey to the draft law "On the circulation of civilian firearms"

The number of Ukrainians supporting the legalization of civilian firearms has increased over the past year. More than half of the population wants to buy traumatic weapons — a survey by Gradus Research

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine approved in the first reading of the Law on the Circulation of Civilian Firearms on the eve of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The bill is currently being prepared for second reading, and a research company Gradus Research conducted a survey to find out how Ukrainians view the legalization of weapons for civilians during the war and compared them with the results of a similar survey from 2021.

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The survey finds that 43% of citizens rather or completely support the legalization of civilian firearms in Ukraine, while a year ago this position was expressed by a third of the population (34%). It is also noticeable that the highest support for legalization is observed among Ukrainians who were forced to leave their places of permanent residence and move to other regions of Ukraine due to the war (46%).

Among the reasons for the legalization of weapons for civilians, Ukrainians often list the opportunity to feel safe, protect themselves and their loved ones (71%), and be ready to defend themselves in case of a large-scale military conflict (56%).

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As for those Ukrainians who have a negative attitude to the legalization of civilian firearms, there are currently 41% of them. At the same time, more than half (52%) of Ukrainians shared this position a year ago. They often argue their opinion by the fact that this may lead to an increase in the crime rate (71%), that the Ukrainian society is not ready for this (58%), and that the use of firearms will be difficult to control (53%).

More than half of the respondents (52%) would like to buy a traumatic weapon, while 37% answered that they would definitely or rather not buy it if they had the opportunity. These indicators have remained stable since last year. Those who want to possess a traumatic weapon, mainly want it to protect themselves, their loved ones, and their home.

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“More than seven months of armed resistance to Russian aggression could not fail to affect the opinion of Ukrainians on the ownership of firearms among civilians. We see the growing support for legalization, but the main barriers remain the fear of citizens that the state will not be able to establish strict control over the issuance of permits for weapons because of corruption”, — comments Evgeniya Bliznyuk, CEO & Founder of Gradus Research.

The survey was conducted by the research company Gradus Research using the method of self-filling the questionnaire in the mobile application. The Gradus online panel displays the population structure of cities with more than 50,000 residents at the age of 18-60 by gender, age, settlement size, and region. Survey period: September 23-26, 2022. Sample size: 2000 respondents.

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