In this material I am trying to roughly explain what the Romanian Gun Laws allow people to do in Romania. More details can be found in this material, but roughly speaking the law splits the citizens in six categories. Anyone from these groups needs to also pass some other basic tests: psychological test, medical test, an 80 hours Weapons Introductory Course, to not be a convicted felon, to currently not be under trial for a presumed offence, etc.
1) Employees of the security forces, while on duty – they are allowed while on the job to carry almost all kinds of weapons, including full-automatic ones, with armor piercing ammo or incendiary ammo (what the law calls “forbidden weapons and ammunition”). This group includes our own equivalent of the CIA, FBI, Secret Service, SWAT, ATF, Gendarmerie, etc.
2) Super-citizens (as I call them) – there are about seven sub-category of people who are allowed to conceal carry short lethal weapons, and these are: police personnel not on duty, military personnel while not on duty, magistrates like prosecutors and judges, diplomats, some elected demnitaries, some appointed demnitaries and witnesses under protection. If you are not part of these groups you are not allowed to carry a lethal weapon. They are allowed to only own two of these guns and 100 rounds per gun. Even if you are a hard core veteran with tours in Afghanistan or a SWAT officer if you want an off duty personal weapon, you still have to go through the 80 hours course and the other basic tests.
3) Regular Joe, 18 years of age – anyone who is 18 years of age and passes the basic tests can own and conceal carry a non-lethal weapon that shoots rubber bullets or irritant gases. Sadly they are not allowed to do so in “crowded spaces” (whatever that means, it is not explained), in public transport or in any other place that puts up a sign that guns are not allowed. So basically almost nowhere (since you can argue that when going and coming from work any sidewalk is “crowded”). They are allowed to only own two of these guns and 25 rounds (law is unclear if in total or per gun).
4) Weapon collectors – these persons are allowed to own, but not to carry guns. They are allowed to own short weapons (pistols and revolver) designed before 1945, but not after that year (for example they can own Makarov pistols because the design is older, based on Walther PP designed in 1936, or a Beretta 92 because the design is older – but they can’t own any type of “plastic guns”). They can own almost any type of non-auto long gun. They need to transport the guns from their place to the range unloaded, secured and hidden in transport boxes or gun bags. They are allowed to own 10 cartridges per owned caliber.
For every trip to the range, they first need to make a written request to the central police station from the county (might be as far away as 30 miles away) and then go an pick up the signed paper, usually the next day (so two trips). Only then they can go home, pick up the guns go buy the ammo, and go to the specified range and on the specified route from the paper. If the range is closed… well, you go back home (I don’t know what happens with the ammo, you are not allowed to own it after the paper expires), you cannot go to the range next door because the paper says so. The bureaucracy is insane and has a lot of gaps in it.
5) Hunters – to become a hunter, besides the basic tests, you need to do an apprentice with other hunters for 1 year. At the end of the apprentice period you have to pass another exam, this time oriented towards practical shooting when it comes to hunting and also a theoretical exam from “hunting domain” legislation. Also you need to be registered in an hunting association in which you have to pay a yearly tax (~400 euros). After becoming a hunter you can own only long guns, as many as you want and 500 rounds per owned caliber. You can train at shooting ranges, but you need to transport the guns unloaded and hidden in a gun box or gun bag. They don’t need the permit that the weapon collectors need to go to the range.
6) Range officers (instructors) / shooting coaches / shooting athletes – these persons can own as many guns as they like, short or long with 1000 rounds per owned gun. They can only transport the guns unloaded in a box or gun bag. But there is a catch: it is very hard to become one of these persons: for example to become an instructor you have to pass a 720 hours course that spreads out over 2 years and costs about 2500 dollars. I am unsure, but for shooting coaches you have to be an instructor plus to be part of an official club and to pass other exam(s). The most accessible category is the shooting athletes subcategory: you can win it for yourself if you do a minimum number of points at one of the “recognized” shooting games: like the PPC/WA1500 matches or biathlon, etc. Unfortunately IDPA is not recognized. Also to train to achieve the minimum number of points is expensive, so not everybody can afford it. They don’t need the permit that the weapon collectors need to go to the range.
Hunters, weapon collectors, range officers, instructors/coaches and shooting athletes can home defense but only where the guns are stored (is written in your gun permit), not at a secondary location and not on the streets while they are transporting their guns to and from the range.