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Another amnesty on arms

THE INTERIOR Ministry is planning a third gun amnesty that should start in early December and last for six months, allowing holders of illegal and home-made firearms to turn them in without penalty. Two earlier amnesties brought in about 8,000 guns.

THE INTERIOR Ministry is planning a third gun amnesty that should start in early December and last for six months, allowing holders of illegal and home-made firearms to turn them in without penalty. Two earlier amnesties brought in about 8,000 guns.

“Now we are thinking that there are conditions to boost the number of given guns to 10,000 in the upcoming amnesty,” Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák told the press on July 31, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

The number of criminal acts with firearms has decreased by 50 percent since the first gun amnesty took place in 2005, Kaliňák claims.

Every office of the Slovak police corps should be able to receive illegal guns and ammunition in exchange for a receipt. Those who meet the conditions to posses a firearm may register it, but only if they did not use the gun to commit a crime. If citizens do not request the gun registration or do not pass it on to another person, it will become the possession of the state, according to the SITA newswire.

However, during previous amnesties most of the guns went back to owners who wanted to register them or make them unusable, turning them into acoustic-expansion weapons. The state took just 259 guns in the first amnesty and 372 guns in the second round, according to TASR.

Among those weapons were also rare pieces. For example, a man in Košice brought in a Russian anti-tank gun, and in the town of Trenčín someone reported a banned gun in the form of a walking stick.

“The most curious case for me was the hand-over of a pellet inserted into a water pipe…,” Ján Zemeník, the head of the Ballistics Department of the Police Criminalist and Expert Institute, told TASR.

The system of automatic gun inspections should be expanded after the third round of the amnesty. The ministry plans to introduce a ballistics register, or so-called “shooting DNA”, which will be included on the list of possessed firearms, and each will have its own record. This should help police with investigating crimes where guns are used, TASR reported.

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