Diana Ghazaryan

Armenian Government Backs Program to Offer Free Arms Training; Says Citizens Must Be Able to Defend Borders

Armenia’s government has given the green light to launch free weapons’ training courses to eligible individuals.

The government’s rationale is that citizens should be proficient in the use of arms to defend the country’s borders.

The country’s Ministry of Sport and Social Affairs proposed the program and now has six months to draft an agenda for ratification.

“Given the complex political situation, an inseparable aspect of the Armenian people’s national culture must include proficiency in small arms as the number one strategic sport, since mastering shooting skills is a necessity for every Armenian in order to be ready to defend the territory of Armenia and its borders,” the decision reads.

The program, if ratified, would envisage the construction of shooting ranges in Yerevan and the provinces starting in 2018 that would offer free lessons. Some shooting ranges would operate on a paid basis.

The government has even gone so far to specify the number of bullets to be fired by those attending classes. It states that individuals must attend classes twice a year and fire ten rounds.

One assumes that these are the minimum requirements to receive a weapons’ license.

The ministry reports that of the twelve shooting ranges now operating, only three are fully operational. The other nine are not in good condition and also lack arms and ammunition.