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Tipsheet

Another Eastern European Country Is Seeing Gun Sales Skyrocket After Russia's Invasion of Ukraine

AP Photo/Wilson Ring

Citizens of Lithuania are taking advantage of the country's relatively relaxed gun laws and are buying firearms in droves in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

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Euronews reported Lithuania gun stores are experiencing sales surging up to eight times and applications for gun licenses doubling, along with more people visiting gun ranges to brush up on their skills:

"Sales have shot up for all categories of weapons but the largest demand is for handguns used for self-defence and semi-automatic weapons that could also be used in military situations. Some stores have reported selling as many handguns in a week as during the preceding year.

...

"Many stores also report that they have run out of military-style gear such as night vision and thermal vision equipment, flak jackets and tactical clothes. The Lithuanian Defence and Security Industry Association has said that most of those goods have been bought to be sent to Ukraine as privately funded military assistance.

"In stores, handguns cost around €600 while semi-automatic rifles around €2,000. Second-hand guns sell online for just over half the price."

"Many more clients are coming. they buy semi-automatic rifles - unfortunately, I have no more to show them, I sold them out - and handguns,” said gun store manager Gytis Misiukevicius.

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“People buy handguns most probably for self-defense, as they are of course not suitable for war. So they buy them out of their insecurity, to protect themselves, their families and relatives should something happen. Whereas semi-automatic rifles, they can be used for firefights," he continued.

Lithuanians "with a spotless reputation and appropriate medical certificates" are able to purchase firearms after obtaining a license from the police.

Lithuania borders Belarus, where Russia has launched troops and missiles into Ukraine.

During the opening days of the major Russian offensive into Ukraine in February, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told Ukrainians the government will be providing weapons to anyone who would be willing to fight against the Russians. Zelenskyy further told the country to prepare to fight "in the squares of our cities."

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