On May 9, President Putin signed an executive decree that deals with security during the incoming Soccer World Cup (2018) and Confederations Cup (2017). The decree has provisions for registry of visitors, limiting air and ground traffic, mass assemblies of citizens not relating to the sport – and civilian weapons.
Article 12 of the decree bans all legal actions with privately owned weapons – “except storage and temporary confiscation.” This includes both individuals and companies (i.e. private security companies and gun clubs), and all firearms, non-lethal and edged weapons. In practice, it means that:
- legal gun owners will not be allowed to carry, shoot or hunt with their weapons
- in fact, owners will be forbidden even to take their weapons out of the house or flat specified in their licenses as main residence
- no firearm licenses will be granted or renewed
- all sales of weapons and ammunition will be banned;
- all shooting ranges will be closed
- all private security forces will have to act without any weapons whatsoever (including spray and batons)
In addition, Article 16 gives the Russian National Guard the right for temporary confiscation of any weapons “when violation of the above regulations is recorded”.
These regulations will be active from June 1 to July 12, 2017 in four cities (Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan and Sochi), and from May 25 to July 25 in eleven cities (Moscow, St. Petersburg, Ekaterinburg, Kaliningrad, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorog, Rostov-on-Don, Samara, Saransk, Sochi and Volgograd). The eleven 2018 World Cup host cities have a combined population of about 27 million people, meaning the measures will affect approximately 20% of Russians.
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