Alternative History
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Gun politics in Russia refer to the firearms legislation in the United Russian Republics. Post-communist Russian gun laws are known to be moderate, on the global gun rights spectrum, Russia has been ranked as "gun-friendly".

However, the exception to Russia's moderately restrictive gun laws is the Autonomous Republic of Alyaska, retaining elements of the Constitution of the Russian Republic, including a law resembling American-style Right to Bear Arms.

Russian citizens can own firearms for hunting, sport-shooting, pest-control, self-defense and collecting. Currently, the firearms that are legal in Russia include handguns, and any rifle that is not a military-style assault rifle, such as AK-47s, AR-15s or FN-FALs. 

While no license is required to purchase a firearm, first-time buyers must pass through a background check, and attend firearms safety classes. Firearms are also required to be registered with the Russian National Federal Police. A Public Carry Permit is required to carry firearms in public.

Sport-shooting and hunting are two very popular activities in Russia. Out of a population of approximately 110,000,000 people, there are 35,340,900 registered firearms, and 4,041,000 Public Carry permits according to a 2015 estimate. Russia ranks one of the highest gun-owning nations in Eastern Europe, Asia (and even North America), joining Yugoslavia and Bulgaria as it is a common part of Slavic heritage to own firearms.

The main gun-rights organization in Russia are the Motherland Rifle Coalition and the Russian National Shooters Organization. Other popular organization include the Smoothbore Federation and the Hunters and Fishers Association.

History

Gun culture was an essential part of Russian life, back to the days of Imperial Russia - especially in the Ural Mountains region. Guns were used primarily for hunting. 

In the Russian Republic (Alaska)

During the Russian Civil War, guns were embraced by both the Communists and the Royalists. After the Bolsheviks conquered Russia, the White emigres fled to Alaska, to establish the break-away Russian Republic. There were no regulation of civilian firearms ownership, as famous emigre author Leonid Petrov noted, "Guns and ammo were as common posessions as jewelry."

As a matter of fact, the national defenses of the White Russian Republic under President Kerensky was heavily paramilitary-based, having no official "armed forces". The White Guard (Белая гвардия) was considered the national paramilitary.

After the overthrow of Alexander Kerensky by Nikolai Markov, gun ownership continued to remain unharmed. When White scouts in Soviet Russia reported to later president Pyotr Wrangel of the on-goings in the mainland, Wrangel made an amendment to the Constitution of the Russian Republic, adopting a U.S. 2nd Amendment-style Right to Bear Arms.

This law stated, "Arms are necessarry for the People, to preserve the integrity of the Russian nation and the Christian faith, only those wishing to harm any of the two shall have this right stripped unless they can prove to have repented."

Private ownership of firearms was encouraged in the Russian Republic and for the most-part, while the U.S. and British Canada helped back the Armed Forces of the Russian Republic, most of the nation's defenses were through private paramilitary.

In 1925, the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia was formed with the Patriarchate of New Archangel. 

In the Russian Mainland (Soviet Union)

In Bolshevik Russia, the Bolsheviks supported a fully-armed communist paramilitary, but not for opposing groups. Thus, as part of the Red Terror, the new government made it a requirement only for communists to own firearms.

It only worsened during the reign of Stalin, who passed laws for the outright confiscation of all firearms in general. It is through illegal gun ownership and illegal gun use that former Red Army officer Viktor Baburin used to overthrow Stalin.

As part of Baburin's Conspiracy, Baburinists were instructed to be secretly armed at all times, and if ever caught by the NKVD or ratted out by fellow Red Army, they were to fight to the last breath, as the Baburinists considered it better to die fighting the Stalinists than live under its regime.

As a result, Stalin was captured by the Baburinists in 1939, and publicly hanged, allowing Viktor Baburin to become leader of the Soviet Union.

In 1940, with the rise of Viktor Baburin, gun ownership was allowed in limited fashions, as a means of paramilitary-style defense against the Axis invasion if the Red Army had failed.

However, after the Second World War, the Kremlin ordered that citizens surrender their firearms to government armes caches, only to be used in the event of a another global war. Nikita Kruschev stated that regular citizens had no use for firearms, however, many continued to own them illegally.

However, gun laws were again somewhat loosened as part of Gorbachev's perestroika and glasnost policies as Gorbachev himself was fond of hunting and sport-shooting, admitting that gun culture was indeed a part of Russian and Soviet culture.

In 1992 under President Mikhail Gorbachev, the near total-prohibition on private firearms ownership was finally lifted, Soviet citizens could only own smooth-bore and double-barreled shotguns for hunting, pest-control and target-shooting. Handguns were limited to retired army veterans, police officers and other with a military or law enforcement background. 

During this time, the Reunification Movement had once-more, mushroomed, but citizens of the Russian Republic were not keen on giving up that right. 

United Russia 1998-present

In addition to adopting the tricolor as the national flag, one of the conditions that Vasily Belinsky (last president of the Russian Republic) made with Boris Pokrovsky was that Alaskans retain a local right to Bear Arms.

As per the 1997 Agreement, the peoples of Alaska would retain that right, however - outside of Alaska, those laws protecting U.S.-style firearms ownership would not apply. Outside of Alaska, the gun rights issue was a near non-issue.

However, President Pokrovsky, an avid gun owner himself, embraced the idea of civilian ownership of firearms, creating new gun laws in 2000, at the turn of the millenium.

Pokrovsky loosened the restrictions on long-guns, in that citizens no longer needed to state a reason in their application for a Firearms Licence. Gun ownership saw a slight increase in the Russian Mainland. 

During the presidency of Vladimir Zhirinovsky, discontent with the Zhirinovsky government saw an increase of firearms and ammo purchases among legally-licensed owners. Some police leaders suspected that people may be plotting a rebellion.

Therefore, Zhrinovsky recommended toughening the laws, some that may even bypass the Alaskan right to bear arms. When this news was made, Dmitry Makarov, then-Head of the Autonomous Republic of Alyaska publicly denounced Zhirinovsky, and ordered the Alyaska Police not to enforce any new stricter gun laws from the Kremlin.

In addition, there were large-scale reports of police abuses in the Russian Mainland. This led succeeding president Vladimir Putin to allow handguns for regular citizens as part of self-defense, yet, they remained somewhat stringent, and still required police registration.

Modern-day regulations

Requirements

No license is required to purchase a firearm, though there are still requirements. In order to purchase a firearm, a citizen must be 18 years of age. They must also pass a background check for any criminal history and mental illnesses. They must also pass a six-hour firearms safety course, and earn a certificate which they must present to a gun dealer, and may therefore, purchase a firearm. All of these documents, along a driver license, passport or federal identification card, must be presented to the gun dealer. All handguns must be registered with the Russian National Federal Police, regular long-guns require no registration. Military-style firearms are rarely allowed to civilians, with the exception of law enforcement, military or retired individuals with past careers and experience in those two groups. It is up the gun dealer's discretion of whether to accept or reject a sale if he or she feels that the buyer is a danger to public safety, even through a background check has been presented.

Public carry regulations

In order to carry a firearm in public, a citizen must apply for a Public Carry Permit (Общественный Проведение Разрешение). Previously, a person must  have stated a legal reason for doing so, either for hunting or for self-defense, a law struck down by Vladimir Putin in 2014. A Public Carry Permit is for 7 years, and must be renewed afterward. Failure to do so will result in revocation of license, as well as the need to re-apply for a new license. That person won't get their firearms confiscated, but will simply be prohibited from carrying them in public.

Storage and transportation laws

Currently, there are no storage laws when it comes to storing firearms in a dwelling. However, when transporting to a gun range, a firearm must be locked in a case, or separate from the ammunition. The only exception would be in emergency situations where police or armed public authority protection wasn't sufficient.

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