State Council of Tatarstan 'under arms': main goal of the session a package of draft bills on weapons

The lawmakers of the republic propose to raise the age limit for “shooters”, to tighten the requirements for mental health and control over the circulation of ammunition

The 22nd session of the State Council of the Republic of Tatarstan was long and difficult: the agenda was almost completely formed by the tragedy in Kazan gymnasium No. 175, replacing even the significant event such as the 30th anniversary of the introduction of the institution of presidency in Tatarstan. About how they congratulated the first president of the republic, justified the draft federal bills aimed at preventing shooting in schools (and not only in schools), and argued about restoring order with neglected animals on the streets of cities and villages — read in the report of Realnoe Vremya

Institution of presidency in Tatarstan is 30 years old

The 22nd session of the State Council began with the congratulations of the first president of Tatarstan, Mintimer Shaimiev.

“I would like to remind you that 30 years ago, the Supreme Council of Tatarstan established the institution of presidency, which largely balanced our political and legal system, gave it a creative dynamic," Chairman of the State Council Farid Mukhametshin addressed the deputies. “Two months later, on 12 June 1991, President of Tatarstan Mintimer Shaimiev was elected for the first time by a majority vote.”

Congratulating the first president — now the state adviser of the Republic of Tatarstan, the chairman of the State Council stressed:

“An authoritative and responsible politician, without exaggeration on a global scale, Hero of Labour of the Russian Federation, Mintimer Sharipovich made a huge, I would say — unprecedented contribution to the formation of the new statehood of the republic and the country as a whole. Shaimiev's activities as president largely laid the foundation for the unique 'model of Tatarstan', characterised by effective interaction with the federal centre, the implementation of well-thought-out economic strategy, and the situation of social and inter-ethnic stability. Today, Mintimer Sharipovich is actively engaged with us in the matters in the post of State Adviser of Tatarstan, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Fund for the Revival of Historical and Cultural Monuments of Tatarstan.

During the break of the meeting, the deputies got acquainted with the exhibition dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the election of the first president of the Republic of Tatarstan.

“The introduction of the institution of the presidency in Tatarstan 30 years ago is a new stage of parliamentarism and a new stage in the life of the republic as a whole," Tatyana Larionova, the deputy chairman of the State Council of Tatarstan, told Realnoe Vremya. “The institution of presidency in the Republic of Tatarstan balanced and determined all levels of power. In the person of the president, the responsibility of all levels of the executive power for the quality of life, for order, peace and harmony in the republic has been guaranteed to the population.”

Russia, according to Tatyana Larionova, then received “a strong and authoritative republic in the person of Tatarstan, which became a beacon for many others”.

Age limit and period of time for those who want to arm themselves

The State Council approved a whole package of legislative initiatives that became “echo” of the tragedy in the gymnasium No. 175 in Kazan.

The deputies propose to raise the age that gives the right to purchase gas weapons, smoothbore long-barreled self-defenсe firearms, sports, hunting, signal weapons, cold bladed weapons intended for wearing with the folk costumes of the peoples of the Russian Federation or the Cossack uniform. Now all this can only be owned from the age of 21. However, with a reservation for conscripts and for those who serve in state paramilitary organisations, have military ranks, special ranks, or justiciary class ranks.

“And another thing: a citizen who purchases weapons for self-defence must [by this time] have 5 years of possession of weapons of limited destruction, that is, have a five-year period of 'maturation'," said Igor Bikeev, a member of the State Council Committee on Legality and Law and Order, speaking to the deputies.

Guarantors are required…

This initiative was unanimously supported by the deputies, but the ardor was cooled by the president of Tatarstan who was present at the meeting:

“I am afraid that our initiative will suppass the age limit," said Rustam Minnikhanov.

He pointed out that the problem is not only the circulation of civilian weapons:

“Why are we not talking about the circulation of ammunition? There should also be some regulations on ammunition.”

The president of Tatarstan also reminded that Russia has “a very serious arms lobby”, which does not benefit from strict restrictions. He also advised State Duma Deputy Ildar Gilmutdinov, who will present the bill in the State Duma, “to carry out serious preparatory work”.

The deputies also remembered that in Soviet times, the system worked well, which, when buying hunting weapons, obliged a citizen to become a member of a hunting organisation, and more experienced participants had to vouch for them. At the same time, the deputies noted, the guarantors should bear real responsibility under the law for the behaviour of the person for whom they vouched.

... and preventive measures

Another legislative initiative, which appeared as a result of the tragedy in gymnasium No. 175, concerns the pre-trial restriction of the dissemination of information on the Internet about the methods of creating improvised explosive devices, firearms, restoring the combat properties of decommissioned weapons, as well as information glorifying crimes such as those committed in the Kazan gymnasium.

“There was a case when a citizen beat a pedophile, the beaten one died, and the citizens, seeing this information, began to speak out in support of such actions under articles in the media," recalled Deputy from the Communist Party of Russia Artem Prokofiev and asked what information the authors of the bill propose to block — certain or “all”, thus making it clear that it is possible to violate freedom of speech for the media.

“Our committee proposed to amend the law 'On Information, Information Technologies and Information Security'," said Speaker-Chairman of the State Committee on Education, Culture, Science and National Affairs Ayrat Zaripov.

“We are talking about anonymous information that glorifies such actions. The faster to remove such information, the better it is!” Farid Mukhametshin intervened in the discussion. “Under the news in social networks, there were comments: 'What a beautiful Tatar man! How many people he has shot.”

At the same time, Tatarstan deputies proposed amendments to the Criminal and Criminal Procedure Codes of the Russian Federation. Currently, the responsibility for the placement of such materials on the Network is not provided. The deputies propose to introduce it, a preventive one: when there is no victim of a crime yet, but there are all signs of a person who is under the influence of criminal influence. If the amendments are adopted, then for the public dissemination of information in telecommunications networks that has a destructive effect, citizens will face a fine of 300 to 700 thousand rubles, and groups of individuals — imprisonment for a term of two to six years.

Confiscation for drunkenness

The deputies of the State Council of the Republic of Tatarstan also want to tighten the Russian Code of Administrative Offenses. They initiated legislation: if a person who is in a state of intoxication has a weapon with him, as well as if he does not comply with the legal requirement of a police officer to undergo a medical examination, the weapon will be subject to confiscation.

It is also proposed to strengthen the responsibility for violating the rules of storage, carrying or destruction of weapons and ammunition, illegal acquisition, sale, transfer, transportation of weapons — the deputies want to raise the fine to 5,000 rubles.

“We will write to the chairman of the State Duma in Russian”

The deputies also accepted the appeals to Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation Mikhail Mishustin and Chairman of the State Duma of Russia Vyacheslav Volodin.

Our legislators asked Mishustin to take measures to quickly adjust the subordinate regulatory legal acts that determine the admission of a citizen to receive weapons — in particular, to change the current procedure for medical examination for mental health. Now it all comes down to getting a certificate that the citizen is not on the psychoneurological register. The deputies propose to introduce mandatory psychological testing according to standard methods, and if the result is questionable, it is up to the commission to decide whether to allow a person to buy weapons.

Tatarstan lawmakers asked Vyacheslav Volodin to “intensify the work at the federal and interstate levels... to improve legal regulation in this area”.

“I agree with the address, but the last point is made incorrectly," Deputy Nikolay Rybushkin showed editorial inclinations. “Whose work should we intensify? Volodin's or State Duma's?"

Colleagues started to argue, but Farid Mukhametshin intervened:

“Well, we'll write more in Russian…"

“A man with a gun is not a strong man”

“Such bill should have appeared a long time ago," Tatarstan Minister of Education Ilsur Khadiullin commented on the legislative initiatives related to the handling of weapons to Realnoe Vremya. “Why give a gun to an 18-year-old man who has not served in the army, has not seen much in his life? The main thing for school graduates is the ability to apply the acquired knowledge in practice. From whom should they defend themselves? From each other? One needs to defend themselves with the help of traditions developed over the centuries. It was not our custom to take up arms! A man with a gun is not a strong man. The strong one is the one who can resolve any issues and problems without weapons.”

According to the minister, now a lot depends not only on the legislation that restricts the use and purchase of weapons:

“First of all, there must be control on the part of society! People should not seek to buy and use weapons, and it is both school and parents who should educate children in this spirit — without them, school can do little. We need to know every child, their state of mind. And the teacher should be returned their function, stop distracting them from the main work, making them a moderator. The organiser of various events. The main mission of the teacher is education.”

Problem with stray animals

The State Council returned to the problem of stray animals. The humane treatment of stray dogs resulted in that despite the sterilisation provided for by the law, they bred and began to get together everywhere in dangerous packs, which, as Farid Mukhametshin noted, already live according to their own laws.

The deputies propose to amend the federal law 'On responsible treatment of animals...': to introduce the registration of dogs and cats by owners, to allow the re-capture of animals for vaccination against rabies, and most importantly — to lift the ban on the capture of neglected animals with permanent or indelible marks, to establish a ban on the return of ownerless animals to their habitats on the territory of educational and medical organisations, children's playgrounds.

However, the enthusiasm of colleagues was cooled by Deputy Marat Galeev:

“The adoption of this law does not solve anything. It is necessary to strengthen the work under the current laws.”

He pointed out that now the organisations that are supposed to catch, vaccinate, and sterilise stray animals simply do not cope with this task. He also addressed the disputing deputies. Who, as it turned out, do not even really know who exactly is “responsible” for stray dogs in the settlements of the republic:

“You read a little bit of the laws by which you live!”

By Inna Serova