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Russia wants to tighten gun control after Kazan campus shooting

Russia wants to tighten gun control after Kazan campus shooting

Russian President Vladimir Putin prepares to deliver his State of the Union address in Moscow on April 21. Xinhua News Agency (Photo by Evgeny Sini)

A shooting at a secondary school in Kazan, the capital of Russia’s Republic of Tatarstan, prompted Russian President Vladimir Putin to order tighter gun control.

A shooting at the 175th Middle School in Kazan city killed seven minors and two adults and injured dozens more, some of them seriously.

The 19-year-old suspect, Irinaz Galliaviev, is in custody. According to media reports, a Russian lawmaker revealed that the gunman was using a semi-automatic shotgun, which sold for about 20,000 rubles , Gallyaviev has a gun license.

A teenager armed with the same shotgun attacked the Kerch Institute of Technology on the eastern tip of the Crimean Peninsula in 2018, killing 20 people before shooting himself. Russian website Guardinfo.online reported that the gunman, carrying a canvas bag containing shotguns, easily passed an elderly janitor and mixed into the campus.

Russian gun rules are strict, making school shootings rare. But the Kazan school shooting highlights the urgent need to address gun control.

The Kremlin says the National Guard must check the status of firearms registered for hunting in Russia.

The National Guard said in January that about 4 million Russians were legally in possession of 6.6 million guns. Politicians argue that data collection on gun owners and gun sales needs to be optimized. Some MPs have called for an online database, and some have suggested raising the age threshold for guns.

According to the BBC, obtaining a gun permit in Russia requires a psychiatrist, an ophthalmologist to provide proof and complete a course on safe guns. In addition, the gunman is required to have a safe with a gun and be checked by the police.

Vitaly Milonov, a Russian lawmaker, called for regular psychiatric examinations of gunmen more than once a year. He believed that the use of drugs by gun owners should also be regularly checked.

According to the BBC, Russia’s black market for guns is large. In addition, rubber bullet guns and other non-lethal firearms, easy to be converted into lethal firearms.

Vyacheslav Volokin, president of the lower house of parliament in Russia’s State Duma, said school security in the Republic of Tatarstan was better than in other areas, but some young people were being demagogueled by “extremist groups”.

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