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Russian lawmakers to consider tighter control over gun ownership

February 05, 2014, 17:58 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russian lawmakers to consider tightening control over gun ownership later this month after th shooting incident in a Moscow school

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MOSCOW, February 05. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian lawmakers might consider second reading of the bill tightening control over gun ownership later this month, Russian lawmaker Irina Yarovaya said Wednesday.

The parliamentarian reminded that among the authors of the initiative there were many members of her committee. "Many have already forgotten that the initiative was drawn and prepared not in connection with some tragic events, but as an attempt to increase effectiveness and sufficiency of measures to protect public security and citizens' life and health," said Yarovaya.

"The project will be offered for second reading at the next meeting of the committee. It includes all the amendments and suggests tougher responsibility for illegal weapon possession," she went on.

The first reading of the legislation in question was approved last May. The bill bans carrying firearms in a state of alcoholic or narcotic intoxication.

During the discussion of the amendments, the authors, including Yarovaya, acknowledged that high-profile crimes causing public outcry prompted the work on the bill.

A range of measures were proposed to prevent such crimes. Specifically, they called for raising the age of legal firearms possession from 18 to 21. Russian regions would reserve the right to decrease the age level by five years.

The first reading of the bill suggested that the certificate stating absence of contra indications related to poor eyesight, mental illness or drug or alcohol abuse could only be issued by a state or municipal medical organization.

The legislation also calls to ban carrying of non-lethal pistols at medical and educational institutions, retail outlets selling alcoholic beverages and at places of recreation.

Using a weapon or object/objects for a weapon might become an additional sign of crime in Russia's penal code.

Carrying firearms by a person in a state of alcoholic or narcotic intoxication is to be punished by a fine of 2,000 to 5,000 rubles for citizens and 10,000 to 15,000 rubles for officials, or by stripping a person of the right to purchase, keep or carry firearms for a period of six months to one year, and for one year to two years, respectively.

The necessity to toughen responsibility for violations in carrying firearms and turnover of firearms was highlighted after the tragic incident at a Moscow school earlier this week.

On February 3, a rifle-toting senior pupil came to school #263. The guard at the entrance tried to block his way, but the youngster pointed the weapon at him to threaten him. The guard pressed the panic button before he was forced to accompany the youngster to the classroom where his classmates were.

In the classroom, the pupil shot at geography teacher Andrei Kirillov, 30, killing him instantly. Then he shot at the police detail called to the scene by the guard, wounding Senior Sergeant Vladimir Krokhin and killing Ensign Sergei Bushuyev.

The pupil is under arrest. The Investigation Committee said he would have to undergo a sanity test.

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