People should be able to handle weapons says defence minister

Darek Delmanowicz/PAP

As many people as possible should receive firearms training, the Polish defence minister has said, commenting on a recently proposed law that would ease access to firearms and shooting education.

The bill, submitted in March by Kukiz'15 MPs with the support of the governing Law and Justice party, would change the law, making it easier for more Poles to gain access to guns.

On Monday, the leader of Kukiz'15, Pawel Kukiz, said that his party's future cooperation with the United Right ruling camp depends on the adoption of this bill.

Talking to a public radio station on Thursday, Mariusz Blaszczak, the defence minister, said that "there is no doubt for me that as many people as possible should be trained, should be able to handle weapons."

"We want as many people as possible to know how to behave in a crisis situation," he said.

The proposed draft law on weapons and ammunition aims to simplify the gun licensing procedure by removing police "discretion" when it comes to issuing gun licences.

The new act would replace the current one from 1999, and is motivated by an apparent desire to unblock access to firearms for law-abiding adults who have good mental health.

The bill also envisages easier access to weapons for soldiers of the Polish Armed Forces, including Territorial Defence Force soldiers, and officers of other state armed formations.