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Russia Tightens Gun Ownership Law Following School Shooting

A memorial to the victims of a May school shooting in Kazan
A memorial to the victims of a May school shooting in Kazan

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed into law a bill tightening gun controls in response to a deadly school shooting earlier this year.

The law, signed into force on June 28, raises the minimum age for buying hunting rifles and long-barreled guns from 18 to 21.

It also provides for additional restrictions on owning weapons.

Previously, people convicted of serious crimes were barred from owning a gun. Now anyone convicted or under investigation for the consumption of drugs can be denied a gun license. A temporary ban will also be imposed on persons caught driving while under the influence of alcohol.

Russians with two or more expired criminal records also won’t receive a weapons license.

The minimum age does not apply to those serving in the army, members of state military organizations, or police officers.

Members of indigenous minorities, professional hunters, and staff of private security firms will also continue to have the right to own weapons from the age of 18.

The head of the Russian Guard, Viktor Zolotov, proposed tightening gun laws in May after a school shooting in Kazan left seven children and two teachers dead.

The attacks was carried out by 19-year-old Ilnaz Galyaviyev using an officially registered weapon.

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