Almost 10,000 illegal weapons were delivered in Serbia after shootings that left 17 dead

People carry flowers for the victims in front of the Vladimir Ribnikar school in Belgrade, Serbia (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic) (Darko Vojinovic/)

Almost 10,000 illegal weapons have been voluntarily handed over to police in the last four days in Serbia after two shootings last week that left 17 dead, including eight children at a school.

The President of Serbia, Alexander vucicspecified in a press conference that more than 9,400 weapons have been delivered, some 460,000 bullets of different calibers and about 890 explosive devices.

On the 8th, the Government of Serbia opened a period of one month for those who possess firearms without a license to voluntarily surrender them without criminal consequences, in response to the two tragedies in one of the countries in the world with the largest number of weapons in circulation. .

Those who deposit in the police stations before June 8 those weapons, ammunition or explosives that they have illegally will not be penalized nor will they have to explain the origin of this material.

Vucic assured that more weapons have been seized now than in four different periods of similar criminal amnesty carried out between 2015 and 2020.

The authorities had previously warned that, after this voluntary period, “brutal sanctions” will be applied to those who keep weapons without the corresponding license.

An investigator at the crime scene of one of the most recent shootings (REUTERS / Antonio Bronic)
An investigator at the crime scene of one of the most recent shootings (REUTERS/Antonio Bronic) (ANTONIO BRONIC/)

The Serbian government has proposed to reduce by 90% the number of people who currently own weapons, increase controls and increase the sanctions for those who have them illegally.

On the 3rd, a 13-year-old boy killed eight of his classmates and a security guard in a Belgrade school, and injured a teacher and six students, before being arrested.

He committed the crime with a pistol, owned by his father, who had a license for the weapon, and whom the minor used to accompany to shooting practice.

In another shooting, less than 48 hours later, a 21-year-old killed eight people and wounded 14 others in the center of the country. Several illegal weapons and abundant ammunition were found in his house.

In Serbia, with a population of 6.8 million, there are some 760,000 weapons in the hands of some 400,000 people, one of the highest ratios in the world, and an unknown number of illegal weapons that could be up to three times the number of legal ones.

(With information from EFE)

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