Russian State Duma committee approves bill tightening gun licensing regulations

The State Duma Committee on Security and Corruption Control has recommended that the Russian parliament adopt in the first reading a draft law strengthening gun licensing regulations, reports the state news agency TASS. 

The bill prohibits issuing gun licenses to:

Russian citizens with two or more prior convictions,Drivers who were prosecuted for driving under the influence or allowing an intoxicated person to drive (until the expiration of the administrative penalty),Drivers who were prosecuted for refusing to undergo a medical screening for intoxication (until the expiration of the administrative penalty).

In addition, the bill prohibits disseminating instructions for manufacturing, altering, or restoring firearms via the Internet. Websites containing this information may be blocked.

Among other things, the bill allows the Russian National Guard (Rosgvardiya), which is responsible for gun licensing, to revoke a permit if the gun owner refuses to hand it over to their officers for inspection. The draft law also prohibits storing a decommissioned weapon without notifying the National Guard. In addition, legal entities will not be able to store firearms in rooms without a security alarm system.

The bill was developed by a group of lawmakers, mainly from the ruling United Russia party. It was submitted to parliament in December 2020. The State Duma is expected to consider the bill in the first reading on May 18.

On May 11, a 19-year-old gunman opened fire on a school in the Russian city of Kazan, killing seven children and two adults. Another 23 people were injured, including 20 children. Several of the victims were hospitalized in serious condition. On the morning of May 12, all of the victims were in stable condition.

After the school shooting in Kazan, Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed the Russian National Guard to develop new regulations on the types of firearms authorized for civilian use. 

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