Russia Bans Guns for the Duration of 2018 World Cup

Matthew Moss
by Matthew Moss
Police officers walk past the official mascot for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, Zabivaka, during the opening of a soccer park in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, March 31, 2018 (Reuters)

The 2018 soccer World Cup begins in Russia on June 14th, this will see hundreds of thousands of fans from around the world descend on stadiums across Russia. In preparation for this the Russian Government has issued a blanket ban on firearms for a two month period surrounding the event.

Taking effect on the May 25th the ban will prohibit the movement, sale and use of firearms until July 25th, 10 days after the end of the World Cup. Back in May 2017, the office of the President of the Russian Federation issued a Presidential Decree dealing with security issue surrounding the World Cup.

The decree, No. 202, issued on May 9th, 2017, states that all firearms within a number of regions are to remain under lock and key.

A translated version of the decree reads:

12. To prohibit, from June 1 to July 12, 2017, and from May 25 to July 25, 2018, in the constituent entities of the Russian Federation in whose territories enhanced security measures are introduced, turnover (excluding storage, seizure):

a) civil and service weapons and cartridges to it;

b) explosives and industrial materials and products containing them;

c) Poisonous substances included in the list of toxic substances for the purposes of Article 234 and other articles of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, approved by Government Decree No. 964 of December 29, 2007, with the exception of cases when such substances are included in the medicinal products registered in the territory of the Russian Federation in accordance with the established procedure.

A second decree, No. 224, was issue on May 22nd, with further details. It prohibits the sale and purchase, carrying, transporting, transferring, importing and exporting weapons and ammunition.

This will impact on hunting and sporting firearms, including shotguns, self defence pistols including tasers and less lethal weapons, airguns and even blank firing guns. This will reportedly impact on people living in the following areas, where matches are due to be held:

Volgograd, Sverdlovsk, Republic of Tatarstan, Kaliningrad Region, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod Region, Rostov Region, Samara, St. Petersburg, Republic of Mordovia & Krasnodar Territory

For the duration of the ban Russian gun owners, in the affected regions, are directed not to remove their firearms from their safes. The World Cup runs from the June 14th until July 15th.

Sources: 1 2 3 4

Matthew Moss
Matthew Moss

Managing Editor: & Overt Matt is a British historian specialising in small arms development and military history. He has written several books and for a variety of publications in both the US and UK. Matt is also runs The Armourer's Bench, a video series on historically significant small arms. Here on TFB he covers product and current military small arms news. Reach Matt at:

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3 of 45 comments
  • Jason Adams Jason Adams on May 29, 2018

    I didn't think that Russia had that many domestic firearms. I thought only a few well connected people with enough money could afford the graft needed to legally possess a firearm so the ban is really superfluous isn't it?

  • Brandon M. Sergent Brandon M. Sergent on May 30, 2018

    This will be an interesting experiment. Gun rights advocates should be eager for this opportunity to empirically prove assumptions. (As if facts matter to either side.)