15 November 2012, 19:54

Russia to toughen gun laws?

Russia to toughen gun laws?

Russia’s government is prepared to toughen gun laws after a Moscow lawyer Dmitry Vinogradov killed six of his colleagues in the Rigla office shooting spree.

Opponents to the new legislation claim that it will make life difficult for law abiding citizens but will not stop potential shooters.

Eighteen year-olds are too young to carry guns, even traumatic pistols, believe police and MPs. Russia’s Interior Ministry has prepared a draft law increasing the age for carrying a gun from 18 to 21, banning traumatic guns in public places and making a bullet casing database for all types of civilian arms, not only rifles.

The law also envisages tougher handgun permit procedure. Russia’s Duma deputy-speaker Sergey Zheleznyak believes that the measures will reduce the number of crimes involving guns but they still need reinforcement.

"We should also boost police and public security services and use the Safe City monitoring system and CCTV. More attention should be paid to extremists statements in social networks and blogs. That Vinogradov published a manifesto before the rampage where he wrote that hates all humankind."

However, some people claim that Russia’s gun laws are already strict enough and new measures are odd and unlikely to prevent crimes similar to the Rigla shooting as Vinogradov wasn’t a youngster but a 30-year old who was carrying a long rifle which is actually banned.

International experience shows that gun bans don’t stop killers but deprive people of self-defense measure, says Gun Rights activist Maria Butina

"We know of dozens of massacres without fire arms. There were kitchen knives in China and lighters in Korea. If a criminal wants to, he can use anything. What I find wrong is to deprive law abiding citizens of self-defense."

Rights to carry guns as well as migration and multiculturalism issues will be wrangled over forever. Its supporters and opponents refer to culture, traditions and statists. The latter says that legal gun owners commit a petty number of gun crimes.

However, everyone shares one stance - legal responsibility for illegal use of any firearms should be toughened.

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