"Quantity of weapons amongst population is a disaster for Abkhazia" - Minister of Internal Affairs
Abkhaz Minister of Internal Affairs Dmitry Dbar says there is an alarming situation concerning the amount of weapons in possession of the local population.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs has begun a large-scale verification of weapons ownership.
In just five years, 2,267 permits for carrying weapons were issued.
Most of the crimes in Abkhazia are committed with the use of firearms. Moreover, the only regulation is the decree on its the sale of weapons, which was adopted on May 4, 1994, shortly after the end of the armed phase of the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict. Detailed JAMnews Analysis
“This is a disaster, and now, when we come across people with permission to carry weapons, we take it away from them and check. If the owner of the weapon does not have a criminal record, then we return the weapon to him, but only with the right of possession. In the future, local police will check how these weapons are stored,” said Dmitry Dbar.
Over the past five years, authorities have distributed 451 units of award weapons. More than 220 of them were issued to citizens of Abkhazia, including people with a criminal past.
Some of the weapons were presented on behalf of the country’s top leadership, including to foreigners. It was from an award pistol donated by the government of Abkhazia on May 6, 2020 that Russian oligarch Dmitry Bosov shot himself at home.
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Authorities say they will punish those guilty of the illegal distribution of weapons.
“At the moment, our entire licensing system is sealed, documents are being drawn up, new provisions are being developed. We will strictly monitor who receives the right to store weapons, and even more so to carry them freely,” the Minister of Internal Affairs said.
The parliament of Abkhazia is working on a bill about the sale of weapons. Dmitry Dbar considers it unacceptable that citizens freely carry weapons.
“We need to clearly distinguish between those who have the right to carry and store weapons,” the minister said.