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Why does the Empire allow its subjects to go around armed?
Han Solo openly carries a blaster. Chewbacca carries his bowcaster. In Rogue One, Baze Malbus carried a heavy repeater cannon. How does this not draw attention of the Empire?

It seems that if they want to control the universe, disarming the populace would make that goal easier. It would also help identify Rebels. Was it tolerated in the Republic?

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    FWIW all of your examples are somewhat outside the law, Han and Chewie are smugglers and were initially found in Mos Eisley. Baze was a Guardian of the Whills turned assassin. If you're already outside the law why not carry weapons too? – TheLethalCarrot Jun 14 at 14:13
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    When we meet Han he's on Tatooine which is in Hutt-controlled space which isn't part of the Empire. – Valorum Jun 14 at 14:17
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    Disarming an entire galaxy is incredibly difficult just because of sheer numbers, and it's impossible to confiscate every blaster. It's far more effective to build your own weapon so powerful that the populace's feeble small arms cannot hope to stand against you (I'm talking about the Death Star, of course). It also doesn't hurt to have Force-sensitive enforcers and kill off (almost) all the other Force-sensitives that might oppose you. – Null Jun 14 at 14:28
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    The Empire is an extremely high-tech civilization. They use anti-gravity where we would use wheels! Interstellar spacecraft are so cheap that the Rebellion hands them out to yokels like Luke to tool around in during their off-duty hours. Children of slaves can scrounge enough parts to build robots containing functional AI. Everything I've described could be converted into a devastating weapon. Disarming these people would be like condemning them to Paleolithic times. Try it and you'd get an instant civil war, with the hand of every citizen lifted against you. – Kyle Jones Jun 14 at 20:32
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    Not to mention there are important reasons for people to be armed on some worlds. Pirates, alien marauders... in some places even the wildlife would be unmanageable without blasters. If they disarmed those people, the Empire would have to either provide for their protection (which would be expensive and cumbersome) or sentence them to death (which is not going to reduce the amount of rebel sentiment around, to put it mildly). – Cadence Jun 14 at 21:02
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Some of the comments are great: Hutt Space for instance. There is also the issue that in the absence of Imperial authority figures protecting all of the settlers on a planet, the planet itself may have a number of species that will kill and eat the local citizens, so it's a good idea from a "keeping your citizens alive and feeding your economy" standpoint to allow them to defend themselves from said voracious flora and fauna. In the core of the Empire, blasters were probably limited to the military and police and the specifically unlawful, and would have been concealed in that latter case.

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Compared with what weapons the Empire has at its disposal a blaster is likely seen as a minor nuisance. It is like WWII where unless you got really lucky a handgun wasn't much use against a tank.

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