Posted 13 октября 2021,, 06:38

Published 13 октября 2021,, 06:38

Modified 24 декабря 2022,, 22:36

Updated 24 декабря 2022,, 22:36

Disarmament race: why Rosgvardia needs in-depth checks on law-abiding citizens

13 октября 2021, 06:38
The head of the Rosgvardia (Federal National Guard Troops Service), Viktor Zolotov, has come up with new initiatives to tighten the carrying of weapons in the Russian Federation. Now the owners of rifles and other types of weapons will undergo an extended inspection of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the FSB.

After the tragedy in Kazan, when the young man shot schoolchildren, President Putin demanded it from him.

Yelena Ivanova, Natalia Seibil

After the shooting in Kazan, when a young man killed 13 schoolchildren and a teacher, President Putin instructed the head of the Federal National Guard Troops Service, Viktor Zolotov, to develop amendments to toughen the Law on Weapons. Some of the amendments became known in early summer. Now Federal National Guard Troops Service proposes to issue weapons licenses only after an in-depth inspection by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the FSB. All 4 million licensees to carry weapons in Russia must pass the check. If someone does not pass it, the license will be taken away.

Changes to the law have always been discussed after the next shooting, and in recent years, its requirements have only become tougher. In two years, the number of people licensed to carry firearms or traumatic weapons fell by 200,000 , from 3.9 million to 3.7 million. The number of weapons decreased slightly, by only 100 thousand. The citizens now have 6.5 million trunks in their hands.

Since the licensing was transferred from the Ministry of Internal Affairs to the Federal National Guard Troops Service, the requirements have become more and more stringent.

Most experts believe that the law on weapons in our country is already tough. Applicants for a license must be screened and provide certificates from drug addiction and psychiatric dispensaries. The owners of the barrels confirm their license every five years.

"Besides mental health issues, there are other requirements. Persons registered with law enforcement agencies, previously convicted, conditionally convicted also cannot receive a weapon permit", - recalls the expert of the All-Russian movement "Strong Russia" on legal issues, Honored Lawyer of Russia Dmitry Krasnov.

Now, at the suggestion of the Rosgvardia, the powers of the FSB and the Ministry of Internal Affairs will be expanded. Both law enforcement agencies can give opinions on the impossibility of owning a weapon.

Major General of the FSB and retired police lieutenant general Alexander Mikhailov believes that the new proposals are an attempt by the Federal National Guard Troops Service to show its need:

- I have been observing this process for a long time and I understand that the situation is getting more and more confused. I want to note another thing - our number of crimes committed with the use of firearms is scanty. We have the largest number of crimes committed on a domestic basis by various types of bladed weapons. Cobblestone, hammer, bottle, knife….

Vyacheslav Vaneyev, chairman of the board of the Right to Arms organization and an expert on weapons, completely agrees with the general. He recalls the meeting of Police Colonel Chernova with journalists:

"She said that there is no criminal load on the legitimate owners of the weapon, because an average of 150 people are killed by malicious intent from legal weapons. This, of course, is a tragedy, but this is not 7.5 thousand killed from illegal weapons a year. And I have a question: if all the power of the Russian state is turned on these 150 people, but 7.5 thousand are kept silent, this speaks of the unprofessionalism of the special services".

The fact is that the Rosgvardia received the licensing functions recently, about 5 years ago. But these are the only powers that have been transferred to the Russian Guard. However, it cannot exercise control over the carrying of weapons. For this, the Russian Guards have neither the means nor the possibilities.

"Who is involved in prophylaxis? The Ministry of Internal Affairs is engaged in prophylaxis, and the Federal National Guard Troops Service gives instructions to him. If Rosgvardia would be engaged in prevention, they would not stretch these functions for themselves. Only they have no one to deal with these functions", - says Alexander Mikhailov.

Rosgvardia is not engaged in operational-search activities, so the result is chaos. The license is issued by the Federal National Guard Troops Service, and checked by the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

"It is necessary to return the licensing service, as it was before, to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, because it was linked with the service of precinct, with the archives of convicts and other unreliable in the Ministry of Internal Affairs. This should be done obviously for a long time. It was all artificial. Now they will start to invent different stories. They don't write what they have to do at home. They delegate this to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the FSB. What is this?", - Alexander Mikhailov is indignant.

In fact, the population has far more than 6.5 million trunks. As usual, statistics on this account are closed. Bit by bit, experts have to collect information from scattered data, from interviews with officials and law enforcement officers.

"We have 39 million barrels in the civil circulation. Of these, about a million are traumatic weapons. This is a hunting weapon. And in the hands of criminal groups, according to our estimates, 12 million, and according to Western estimates, 20 million...", - says Vyacheslav Vaneyev.

Recently, the same Federal National Guard Troops Service covered workshops where civilian weapons were converted into combat ones. There was also a cannon, mines and machine guns. The authors of the initiative say they want to prevent weapons from falling into the hands of members of organized criminal groups, extremists and terrorists.

Vyacheslav Vaneyev is convinced that the new amendments are just another dances for law enforcement agencies that cannot cope with the criminal circulation of weapons and are unable to prevent shootings.

"It is easy to prohibit a law-abiding citizen from weapons. He will not acquire it. But you try to forbid the criminal. He won't give a damn about the law. When there is no inevitability of punishment for a crime, then the first thing he does is go and buy high-quality military weapons on the black market. The criminal does not give a damn about the prohibition to enter an educational institution with weapons, in addition, he knows that even the guards are sitting there without weapons. This should be changed, not issues related to operational information", - Vyacheslav Vaneyev believes.

To cover up their own lack of professionalism, operations to neutralize criminals turn into a show. The expert recalls how the shooter of Kratov was neutralized. 2,000 servicemen were sent to arrest him. But when they blocked the criminal's house, they lost sight of the fact that there was another street behind the house. And nobody blocked it.

"Two thousand people, two or four armored personnel carriers, helicopters... In Soviet times, when they took such shooters, they did everything quietly and calmly. Any shot that sounded was considered the unprofessional of the task force, they did not approach the planning of this operation well. In Khimki, they threw grenades at all. What is this? That's the horror".

In addition, the new amendments are corruption-intensive because they do not have precise criteria. What exactly will be checked by the Ministry of Internal Affairs or the FSB is unclear, therefore, on what basis the conscientious owner of the gun may receive a refusal, it is also unclear. And if there are no firm parameters, what exactly can a citizen dispute in court?

The authors argue that license denials may be based on intelligence. But operational information is nothing more than a rumor that still needs to be checked. If law enforcement officers rely on unverified information, it will be possible to take away the license from any law-abiding citizen.

"These amendments have nothing to do with public safety, but will only increase the corruption component when obtaining a license, when the operative or the one who checks will decide: is this operational information worthy of banning weapons or can it be neglected? There is no rigid application method for these proposals. And if there are no criteria, this is a corruption component", - expert Vaneyev concludes.

The experts have many complaints about the psychiatric service. As a rule, shooters are performed by people who are mentally unstable and still under stress. Therefore, if a person is registered with a psychiatrist, regardless of the stage, he should not receive a weapon permit.

General Mikhailov is convinced that the transfer of licensing to the Russian Guard was a mistake, which the President must correct and return these functions to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, where there is an operational-search, archival and preventive services.

However, prevention is carried out by district police. After the police reform, they were reduced by three times, or the plots were increased by the same amount. In many cases, precinct officers do not know the geography of their districts, says Vyacheslav Vaneyev, but the document circulation has increased significantly. Instead of dealing with citizens, district police officers write papers day and night.

But the main conclusion is different - it is necessary to fight not with respectable citizens, but with criminals and the black market for weapons. And on this front, so far, much has not been heard about success.