‘The US approach is not for us’: Russian MP urges tougher gun controls in wake of Las Vegas massacre

‘The US approach is not for us’: Russian MP urges tougher gun controls in wake of Las Vegas massacre
The deputy chair of the lower house Security Committee has criticized the US approach to firearms licensing, saying that tougher gun laws in Russia could help to prevent mass shootings and other weapons-related tragedies.

We and the United States have different approaches to the problem: they choose the ‘let survivors survive’ path, but it is not for us. I think that when we see that the use of weapons causes such serious consequences it would be reasonable if we toughen the laws that apply to gun owners,” MP Anatoly Vyborny (United Russia) said in comments with RIA Novosti.

In particular, the lawmaker proposed creating a single database of gun owners with the possibility of real-time updates and connections to courts, drug control services and state psychiatry centers.

Today, if a law-abiding citizen purchases a gun and registers it and everything seems normal. But a year later, this person can suffer mental illness and become registered with a psychiatry center, the state regulator must immediately react and limit this person’s access to his or hers weapon,” the MP stated. 

Vyborny added that similar rules should apply to situations where gun owners are given criminal convictions for hooliganism, as people who disrupt public order are much more dangerous to society if they possess firearms.

The comments came after the recent mass shooting in Las Vegas in which at least 59 people were killed and 527 injured. According to US law enforcement agencies, the attack was carried out by a lone criminal who used dozens of legally purchased rifles and other firearms. The shooter committed suicide before security agents could apprehend him. The motives behind the attack so far remain unclear.

In the same comments, Vyborny also said that the Russian National Guard – the agency in charge of gun control in the country – was in the process of drafting a bill that would introduce obligatory registration of all air guns. He said that there were no plans to introduce licenses for such guns, but that they still needed to be registered as this would become “a restraining and disciplinary factor.”

Rosgvardia proposed tougher regulations of air guns last week after an incident at a school in the Moscow suburban town of Ivanteyevka. There, a schoolboy attacked his teacher with an ax, shot an air gun at fellow pupils and threw several smoke grenades in class. Several people were injured in the panic following the incident. The attacker was detained and Russian media reported that the boy had written about suicide before the incident.