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Parliament passes new gun law

AN AMENDMENT to the Firearms and Ammunition Act was passed by Slovakia’s parliament on March 29, following a heated debate that lasted for several months. The approved amendment is a compromise version that softened the original proposal submitted by Interior Minister Daniel Lipšic. But it will still introduce more stringent rules as of May 1, 2011, the TASR newswire reported.

AN AMENDMENT to the Firearms and Ammunition Act was passed by Slovakia’s parliament on March 29, following a heated debate that lasted for several months. The approved amendment is a compromise version that softened the original proposal submitted by Interior Minister Daniel Lipšic. But it will still introduce more stringent rules as of May 1, 2011, the TASR newswire reported.

The amended law will require people who own firearms to undertake an examination by a clinical psychologist. Psychological tests once every 10 years will then be required for anyone who wants to carry a firearm, including sports shooters, security staff and police officers who have civilian gun permits. In autumn this year all members of the armed forces who must carry a gun professionally will be added.

One of the most significant changes from Lipšic's original proposal is that police will not be permitted to enter citizen’s homes to inspect weapons. The compromise legislation will also allow Slovak retailers to sell airsoft and paintball guns via the internet.

The amendment came in response to the August 2010 shooting spree in Bratislava's Devínska Nová Ves district in which resident Ľubomír Harman killed seven people and injured 15 others before fatally shooting himself.

Lipšic said he would have liked to see a more stringent law but considers the passed version acceptable, stating that he is confident that the amendment will reduce the number of mentally unstable persons who can acquire and carry guns. Former interior minister Robert Kaliňák (Smer) told TASR that he is drafting another amendment to the law that he will submit to a forthcoming parliamentary session.


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