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12 May, 2021 14:01

Russia to revise gun laws after Kazan school shooting: Putin orders audits & politician calls for reintroduction of death penalty

Russia to revise gun laws after Kazan school shooting: Putin orders audits & politician calls for reintroduction of death penalty

Following Tuesday’s school shooting in Kazan, which left seven pupils and two teachers dead, Russian politicians and officials have sprung into action to suggest a range of measures to stop a similar tragedy from happening again.

The massacre, which took place at the city's High School No. 175, has also left 23 people hospitalized. Kazan is located around 700 kilometers east of Moscow and is the capital of Tatarstan.

The initial reaction to the shooting was a call for increased restrictions on gun availability. Shortly after he heard the news, Russian President Vladimir Putin was the first to make a statement, ordering National Guard head Viktor Zolotov to audit the types of weapons that are allowed to be in civilian circulation.

Also on rt.com Young English teacher gunned down in Kazan school shooting died trying to save student from teen killer – Russian media reports

Vasily Piskarev, the chairman of parliament's Committee on Security and Anti-Corruption, proposed to quickly draft a new law for stricter restrictions on obtaining a gun license, which MPs could consider as early as next week.

A draft bill submitted on Wednesday morning includes provisions for a ban on issuing weapon licenses to Russians with multiple convictions, and would stop those punished for drunk driving from owning a gun.

Vyacheslav Volodin, the head of the State Duma, also chimed in, stressing the need for a strong procedure to stop those with “an unstable psyche” from obtaining weapons. Tatyana Moskalkova, Russia's Human Rights Commissioner, proposed raising the age requirement for purchasing firearms to 21 years old, from the current limit of 18, except for those who have served in the army.

However, some other politicians and officials have called for more unorthodox measures to prevent another tragedy. Senator Alexander Bashkin called for control over “violent computer games,” suggesting that the concept of ‘desirable and undesirable content’ should be applied.

“In these games, there are pieces of flesh flying, blood splattering, and violence – it can be extremely dangerous for the unformed teenage psyche,” he said.

MP Sergey Mironov, from the “Fair Russia” party, went even further. The veteran politician called for a new law to apply the death penalty to those who kill children. Capital punishment is in the country’s statutes, but has been frozen due to Russia’s membership in the Council of Europe.

“[The killer] knows perfectly well that he will live and will sit in prison,” Mironov explained. “Most importantly, the criminal is aware that he will not be shot for it.”

“If there is the death penalty – I think many would think a little bit before taking up arms and go to kill their classmates.”

The latest calls for stronger gun laws are nothing new. Back in 2018, a student in Kerch, Crimea, killed 20 in the polytechnic he attended. Like the shooter in Kazan, he used a Hatsan Escort shotgun.

The event, dubbed by some as ‘Russia's Columbine,’ led to many politicians suggesting increased regulation. Three years later, the proposed laws are still not on the books. It remains to be seen whether this time will be different.

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