Gun Laws

I am definetely not a lawyer, so do not expect to hear exact legal terms and articles here. All I can offer is this : In Greece, the laws that govern the possession and use of firearms are quite dated. As a result, they consider an 1821 muzzle-loaded firearm to be a ... firearm etc. This can make a lot of Greek citizens outlaws, simply because somewhere in the basement, they might have a rusted 1821 muzzleloader, which if ever fired, will probably blow up on your face. Anyway, let's concentrate at more practical things.

There are generally two ways that one can legally get a gun in Greece.

One is, if your life is in danger, due to your job, social status or functionality, or if you have some good friends in the right places. In that case, you can easily obtain, what is known as a Concealed Self-Protection Carrying Permit (let's call it CSCP, for short). This permit allows you to have only one gun and a very limited amount of cartridges (30 or usually less). Now, if you are allowed to have 30 rounds, you can only fire, let's say half of them for practice. How can a person be trusted to protect his own life with so little practice is of course beyond my comprehension.

The second reason that entitles you to own a firearm, is to be an athlete in a shooting sport. This permit allows you to have more than one guns (usually a 0.22 LR, a 0.32 or 0.38 or 9mm, etc) in order to be able to participate in the corresponding shooting matches. In order to get such a permit, you must be a member of an athletic shooting club for several months, and to have participated in several matches (using either your friend's guns or your clubs guns, if they have any). The club is responsible for supplying you with cartridges you need for your practice sessions and your participation in shooting matches. Of course, this permit does not allow you to carry your gun(s) on yourself. You are only allowed to transport you guns in bags or suitcases to and from the shooting range. For those interested to know I have this kind of permit.

The interesting thing is that in either case, if something happens and you are forced to use your legally owned guns to protect yourself, you are facing a very difficult and tragic situation, from which you will be lucky if you loose only your permit. You will be accused of homicide, manslaughter or what have you, and it will be months before you are cleared by a court of law. In the meantime your family may be ruined, because you might be held in prison, as if YOU were the criminal.

There are some other things that you should know concerning gun ownership in Greece. First of all, you are responsible to protect them. That sounds rational, but then if someone breaks into your house and goes after your guns, how are you going to deter him, if you are not allowed to use them?

Second, there are some areas in Greece, like Crete and Mani, where guns are not that restricted. That does not come from these areas having different legislation that the rest of the country. It is more of a customary habit than anything else, which however is endorsed by some politicians.

Third, having an illegal arm is not a good idea at all. Consider first that if found, you are facing serious charges and will probably spend some time in jail. That is, if you are lucky and your gun proved to be clear. Now if someone had performed a robbery with your gun, before you acquired it, you can spend the rest of your life trying to explain that you are not the bank robber or something similar.

Fourth, don't ever show your gun off. Apart from being illegal, you risk being robbed by someone who saw your gun and liked the idea of having it.

If there is anyone who has more concrete data about laws governing guns in Greece and wants to contribute to this page, please send me your text and I'll be more than glad to include it here in.

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