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New Amendments Complicate Procedure for Acquiring Gas Weapons

From June 7, a person wishing to either purchase or register a gas weapon in addition to passing a special test, must now also obtain a permit from a person of authority at a territorial unit [police station] of the Ministry of the Interior and then submit it to the Service Agency, according to the amendments which have been made to the order of the Minister of Internal Affairs of Georgia “On approval of the procedure for carrying, storing, transporting, forwarding and registering weapons and ammunition in use or ownership”.

“Based on the written application of the interested person and the study of the relevant circumstances, the relevant territorial body of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia takes a written decision on the consent or refusal to give consent…” the MIA explains.

The individual’s failure to appear at the police administration building and/or refusal to permit an authorized person to visit their residence or weapons storage location constitute grounds for denying consent.

Some opposition representatives and citizens criticized the MIA’s decision, arguing that authorities restrict citizens from exercising their right to self-defense and that it hinder their ability to defend themselves amid what appears to be orchestrated violence and repression against the opponents of the Foreign Agents Law and government policies, including activists, civil society representatives and opposition parties.

Levan Samushia of the opposition Lelo party says “you should not be surprised if the Interior Ministry and the Russian government [referring to the Georgian Dream government] soon ban the wearing of medical masks, or let’s say the use and carrying of pepper spray for self-defense against titushky [the government-paid thugs] who…ambush people at their entrance halls. This is just a Russian-style decision of the Russian regime”.

Boris (Chele) Kurua, a member of the opposition Girchi-More Freedom Party and one of the targets of the recent violence campaign against activists and opposition figures, says “I wanted my self-defense to be more potent, because since the police failed to protect me once, they will most likely fail to do so again. There are threats made against my health and life, and I wanted to buy an air gun, but they [MIA] denied it groundlessly. [Even though] now the amendment [to the rules for purchasing such a gun] has come into force, but on Monday [June 3], the amendment had not been enacted, so they did not have the right to deny my request”.


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