Surprisingly, it’s not that difficult to get your hands on a gun legally in Poland. At the end of 2018, there were more than half a million weapons in Polish hands (not including the military) with 215 602 permits registered. In 2018, the number of weapons increased by 41 661 compared to the previous year and the number of users by 9481.
130,000 of the weapons in Poland are being used by hunters which is big business in Poland. The hunters also have the majority of the guns with 322,000. Almost 77 thousand weapons are used for sports purposes, 41 thousand for personal protection, and almost 60,000 for collector’s purposes.
You can learn a lot about Polish weapons by analyzing statistics on how many weapons belong to one owner. It is not surprising that hunters, for example, have almost 6 weapons each. Collectors have 3.28 guns each and athletes 2.49. The holder of a gun permit to protect people or property has an average of 1.11 guns per person.
So how do you get a gun permit?
It is not a difficult task for someone to get a gun permit. The permit is issued by the provincial head of the Police. To get a gun permit you must show the reason for receiving it, be at least 21 years of age, be physically and mentally healthy, not addicted to alcohol, drugs or medicines and not pose a threat to yourself and the environment.
You have to bring a certificate from an authorized physician and psychologist, the rest will be checked by the police. The whole procedure may take several months. The weapon must be stored in a proper safe or armored safe, and cannot legally be carried with you. Of course, you can carry your weapon when going to a shooting range for example but it must be unloaded! Get caught with it shopping in Biedronka and you could be in trouble!
Remember also that hunters need to be a member of a shooting club for one year and sports shooters the same at shooting clubs. Collectors need to also be members of collectors’ associations. Oh, and there’s also an exam you need to pass.