OAN Roy Francis
10:39 AM – Thursday, May 11, 2023
Serbian citizens have turned in thousands of weapons, and hundreds of explosive devices in the first few days of a month-long amnesty period implemented by the Serbian government in support of an anti-gun push following two shootings that took place last week.
The effort by the Serbian government to root out weapons from within the communities began after two mass shooting resulted in the death of 17 people with another 21 being injured. One of the shooting had taken place in a school, the first such event in the history of the country.
The shooter at the school was a 13-year-old boy who had used his father’s gun at an elementary school in central Belgrade. The next day, a 20-year-old man opened fire in a rural area using an automatic weapon.
On Wednesday, the father of the 20-year-old was arrested for illegal weapons possession.
After the shootings, Serbian Progressive President Aleksandar Vučić vowed “an almost complete disarming” of the population, and authorities demanded that citizens turn in unregistered weapons before the end of May, or face prison time.
Since the amnesty period began, the government has received around 6,000 unregistered weapons, along with approximately 300,000 rounds of ammunition and about 470 explosives.
Other new measures that have been implemented by the Serbian government include a ban on new gun licenses, tougher punishment on illegal weapons, and stricter control on gun owners and ranges.
Serbia is considered one of the top countries in Europe in regards to gun ownership. However, most of the weapons that are in possession of the citizens are leftover weapons from the war that had taken place in the 1990s.
After the two shootings, thousands of Serbians marched in protest in Belgrade and other towns across the nation calling for changes and the resignation of populist government ministers. In addition, protestors also demanded that television channels which air violent content and host war criminals be banned.
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