Serbia to tighten gun control after school shooting

AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic

Serbia had plenty of gun control, though it did nothing to stop a school shooting there earlier this week. I can only imagine what it was like for the families.


Then it seems there was a second mass shooting at a school there on Thursday, one leaving eight people dead.

That means that despite all the gun control on the books in Serbia, the pressure is on lawmakers to do something to at least appear to be addressing the issue. So, they did.

Serbia’s Interior Ministry warned gun owners on Thursday to keep their weapons empty and locked in gun cabinets or safes.

The warning comes a day after a 13-year-old boy opened fire on his classmates, killing eight children and a security guard at a primary school in the capital Belgrade. A teacher and six pupils were also wounded.

“The Interior Ministry is appealing to all gun owners to store their guns with care, locked up in safes or closets so they are out of reach of others, particularly children,” it said in a statement.

Police will do spot checks at registered gun owners’ homes to ensure they keep weapons safe and those who are found to be negligent could be charged.

It is part of a host of gun control measures announced by President Aleksandar Vucic hours after Wednesday’s shooting.

He also announced a moratorium on new gun licenses other than for hunting and said there would be a revision of existing permits and enhanced surveillance of shooting ranges.

Now, let’s be honest here. Absolutely none of this would stop mass shootings.

I’m with them on telling people to make sure their guns are stored safely and securely, but the truth of the matter is that beyond saying that, there isn’t a lot that Serbian lawmakers can actually accomplish.


It’s awful, but it’s true.

Serbia has a ton of firearms in circulation, and I promise you that many of them aren’t registered. Let’s not forget that this was a part of the world that engaged in ethnic cleansing, for crying out loud. At least some people aren’t interested in playing nice with the government when they remember the bodies in mass graves.

I promise you that these folks aren’t likely to get a visit by police wanting to spot-check their gun storage.

Yet let’s also acknowledge something that our more homegrown gun control advocates don’t want you to grasp. This is a tightly gun-controlled nation–one with measures anti-gun states could only dream of–and they saw two mass shootings in 48 hours.

This is the second time we’ve seen two mass shootings in such a tight timeframe this year, and the other was in gun-controlled California.

What is it going to take for the gun control crowd to look at California and Serbia and figure out that maybe, just maybe, the problem isn’t guns? This wasn’t Texas or Florida or Missouri. This was Serbia this time, which can’t even fathom the level of gun freedom many states enjoy.

All their gun control did nothing, just like with California in January.


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