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Serbia: gun laws to be tightened following two deadly shootings

Serbia’s government announced a host of gun control measures on Friday and will carry out an extensive revision of existing private gun permits and other regulations as the country mourns victims who died in two mass shootings in the country within one week.

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At a press conference on Friday, Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić pledged to tighten restrictions on the possession of firearms and laid out urgent plans to overhaul the country’s gun laws, including reviewing the current 400,000 gun owners in the country.

Those, who illegally possess guns and ammunition, will be able to hand weapons in within a month without being held accountable.

The government is also to strengthen security at schools by adding 1,200 police officers over the next six months to reduce the risk of violence, according to the press conference.

“The maximum sentence for unauthorized possession of weapons will be increased from 12 to 15 years,” said the president.

Meanwhile, Vučić expressed condolences to the families of the victims on his behalf and on behalf of all members of the government, calling the two incidents a vicious crime against innocent civilians and an attack on the whole state.

A tragic week
On Wednesday morning, a 14-year-old shooter conducted an elementary school shooting, killing at least nine people including the school’s security officer and eight students. The young victims included seven girls and one boy, all between the ages of twelve and fourteen.

On Thursday night, a gunman aged 21 shooting from a moving vehicle killed at least eight people in Mladenovac in central Serbia. The suspect was arrested on Friday.

The Serbian government has announced three days of official mourning from Friday to Sunday.

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