The Increasing Popularity of Firearms Training in Poland

A woman wearing noise-suppression earmuffs holds a Glock and aims down the shooting range at paper targets

In light of the ongoing war in Ukraine, Poles are increasingly interested in learning how to shoot at gun ranges. Some Ukrainians living in Poland are even taking firearms training before returning to fight in the war. This increase in interest is also causing a rise in the illicit weapon trade throughout the European Union.

Reasons for the Increase in Interest

The reasons for the increase in interest in firearms training are varied. For some, it is a way to show support for the Ukrainian army. Others see it as a way to protect themselves and their families should the fighting spread into Poland. And still others see it as an opportunity to learn a new skill.

Territorial Defence Forces (WOT)

The Territorial Defence Forces (WOT) is a Polish military organisation created in 1990, following the collapse of the Soviet Union, as a way to defend Poland against potential threats from its neighbours. The WOT is responsible for defending Polish territory should the fighting spill over into Poland. Since its creation, there has been a significant increase in the number of people interested in joining the WOT.

Since the war began, there has been a seven-fold increase in interest in the Territorial Defence Forces (WOT), Poland’s volunteer militia. In recent years, the WOT has been mostly inactive, due to a lack of funding and political support. However, with the outbreak of the war, the WOT has been activated once again, and it is even being expanded. The increase in interest is likely due to a number of factors, including the fear of a Russian invasion and the desire to protect Poles living in areas occupied by Ukrainian forces. In addition, many Poles have simply grown tired of watching helplessly as their country is torn apart by violence. The WOT provides an opportunity for ordinary citizens to take action and make a difference. With over 30,000 members already signed up, it is clear that the WOT is playing an important role in defending Poland against its enemies.

Fear of Invasion

Poland has seen a surge in the number of people wanting to learn how to shoot at gun ranges since the start of the war in Ukraine. This is not surprising, given that Poland shares a border with Ukraine and has been invaded by Russia before. In February of 2022, when Russia invaded Ukraine, the number of people wanting to learn how to shoot at gun ranges increased even further. Almost every individual there who goes to a gun range plans to use their skills in defending themselves. Poland is not the only country where this is happening; there has been a similar increase in handgun and rifle sales in Lithuania back in March, in fear of a Russian invasion of their borders.

The recent surge in popularity of shooting ranges can be largely attributed to the perceived threat of a Russian invasion. In the past, most people who came to shooting ranges were experienced shooters who were looking to hone their skills. However, nowadays, more and more people are coming to shooting ranges who have never handled a firearm before. These newcomers are looking to get the skills they need to defend themselves from the threat of a Russian invasion. While the chances of a Russian invasion are relatively slim, it is nonetheless important for everyone to be prepared. Shooting ranges provide a great opportunity for people to learn how to use firearms safely and effectively.

As tensions continue to mount in Eastern Europe, some Ukrainian citizens living in Poland have started taking matters into their own hands. In an effort to defend their homeland against the possible threat of Russian aggression, these Ukrainians have begun learning how to shoot at local shooting ranges. While most of them have no prior experience with firearms, they are quickly mastering the basics of marksmanship. In addition to honing their shooting skills, these Ukrainians are also gaining a better understanding of gun safety and self-defense. By arming themselves with knowledge and training, they hope to be better prepared to fight for their country if the need ever arises.

An image of soldiers' feet marching in formation

Illicit Weapon Trade

The increased interest in firearms training has also led to an increase in the illicit weapon trade throughout the European Union. As a result, the European Union is taking steps to make of gun trading and transportation harder by implementing stricter measures, amid concerns that the war could lead to an increased spread of illegal weapons. The new regulations will require gun dealers to obtain a license from the EU in order to sell firearms, and will also impose stricter controls on the transport of guns across borders. End-user certificates would be required for certain firearms to ensure the recipient does not plan to transfer them, helping reduce the risk of black market trafficking.

While these regulations will make it more difficult for smugglers to obtain and transport weapons, they will also make it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to purchase firearms for self-defense. They also claim that these measures are not meant to restrict gun ownership, but rather to keep guns from entering the black market. It remains to be seen whether these measures will be effective in combating the illegal trade of guns.

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