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Committee supports tougher penalty for careless keeping of firearms

February 12, 2014, 18:20 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Lawmakers called for more restrictions on civilian and service weapons turnover

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© ITAR-TASS/Valery Bushukhin

MOSCOW, February 12. /ITAR-TASS/. Lawmakers from the Committee for Security and Combating Corruption under the State Duma lower house of Russia's parliament have recommended to approve in the 2nd reading the bill that places restrictions on weapons turnover, including a two-year jail term for careless keeping of firearms resulting in fatalities.

The document is expected to be reviewed on February 14.

Under proposed legislation, careless keeping of firearms that resulted in its use by other person - in case of grave consequences, such as death of a person - will be punished by a fine of up to 100,000 rubles, 360 hours of community work or one year of correctional labor, restriction of freedom for up to one year or six-month arrest.

In case of graver consequences, such as death of two or more people, the penalty might be up to 480 hours of community work, up to two years of correctional labor or up to two years in jail.

Lawmakers called for more restrictions on civilian and service weapons turnover. The legislation also calls for a ban on carrying non-lethal pistols at medical and educational institutions, retail outlets selling alcoholic beverages and at places of recreation. This norm does not apply to guards.

It is proposed to raise the age level when a person is allowed to buy firearms from the current 18 to 21. Russian regions would reserve the right to decrease the age level by two years.

The certificate stating the absence of contra indications related to poor eyesight, mental illness or drug or alcohol abuse should only be issued by a state or municipal medical organization, at the expense of the buyer of firearms. It will be valid for one year from the date of issue.

The bill prohibits keeping weapons at such places which accommodate people suffering from mental disorders or drug or alcohol abuse - who are under medical supervision, even if the weapons are perfectly legal and proper storage conditions are observed.

In such situations, the weapon-keeping procedure is set by the government.

Carrying firearms in a state of alcoholic or narcotic intoxication is punished by a fine of 2,000 to 5,000 rubles for citizens with possible confiscation of firearm and ammunition, and 5,000 to 10,000 rubles for officials, or by stripping a person of the right to purchase, keep or carry firearms for six months to one year with or without confiscation of weapon.

Firearms owner's failure to undergo an alcohol test at police officer's demand is punished by suspending the right to purchase, keep or carry firearm for one to two years.

An amendment approved by the committee commits private security firms' personnel and commercial guards service employees to undergo physicals before going on duty.

Head of the parliament house committee for security and combating corruption Irina Yarovaya had underlined that the measures had been drawn "not in connection with tragic events, but within the framework of analysis of effective legislation and sufficiency of the measures ensuring public security and citizens' safety."

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 month.

On February 3, a rifle-toting senior pupil came to school #263. He forced the guard at the entrance to accompany him to the classroom where his classmates were. The guard, however, managed to press the panic button.

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, killing one officer and wounding his colleague.

The youngster has already been charged with murder. The Investigation Committee said he would have to undergo a sanity test.

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