a system of licensing and registration is the perfect device to deny gun ownership to the bourgeoisie - Lenin

This quote can be found all over the internet, but I can't find any reliable sources for it.

Two examples for where it's used:

Patriots of Treason by David Thomas Roberts

This meme:

enter image description here

You can google it and will find a lot more usages of the quote, most of them from pro-gun activists. None of the mentions I found have any more information, such as the speech or publication it's from, or the year Lenin supposedly said this.

So my questions are:

  • Did Lenin really say this?
  • If so, when and where did he say it? I'm assuming after the October Revolution?
  • And what's the context for it?
  • 8
    FWIW, I tried googling several variants of Russian translation and couldn't find anything.
    – Kreiri
    Commented Aug 9, 2015 at 11:00
  • 5
    the only citation I could find is exploited class not looking for owning of guns and not knowing how to use them would be a servant class letter to D. Veinkop 49, pg. 104 (my translation), so yes, he was pro people owning guns. Commented Aug 10, 2015 at 22:53
  • 12
    Found translation of the letter here The letter to "Veinkop" was actually to David Wijnkoop. An exploited class which did not strive to possess arms, to know how to use them and to master the military art would be a class of lackeys. Commented Aug 11, 2015 at 0:38
  • 2
    @mjs This doesn't look like an answer - it only shows he wished working class to be armed, although he still could say that the ruling/exploiting bourgeoisie class can/should be denied from owning guns by licensing and registration. Also note the fact Lenin was an idol, a god substitute for almost a century, all info about him is pretty much checked and purified and I believe something was added too - so we can not be sure whether he was saying anything of this. Commented Aug 15, 2015 at 2:13
  • 8
    "The trouble with quotes on the Internet is that it's often very difficult to verify their authenticity." -- Abraham Lincoln Commented Feb 1, 2016 at 19:58

1 Answer 1


According to the book They Never Said It : A Book of Fake Quotes, Misquotes, and Misleading Attributions

That Lenin, who died in 1924, had anything to say of use for opponents of firearms-registration in the United States in the late 20th century is highly improbable.

What Lenin did say about disarmament is:

The result of all bourgeois revolutions is: first arm the proletariat and then disarm it to prevent it from going any further.

Speech on the Cancellation of the Demonstration, Delivered at a Meeting of the Petrograd Committee of the R.S.D.L.P.(B.), June 11 (24), 1917

See also The “Disarmament” Slogan published in Sbornik Sotsial-Demokrata No. 2, December 1916. Signed: N. Lenin.


Our slogan must be: arming of the proletariat to defeat, expropriate and disarm the bourgeoisie. These are the only tactics possible for a revolutionary class, tactics that follow logically from, and are dictated by, the whole objective development of capitalist militarism. Only after the proletariat has disarmed the bourgeoisie will it be able, without betraying its world-historic mission, to consign all armaments to the scrap-heap. And the proletariat will undoubtedly do this, but only when this condition has been fulfilled, certainly not before.

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