Serbia Mulls New Gun Law After Mass Slaying

April 10, 2013
As Serbia mourns 13 victims of a murderous village rampage, the police are pushing for tighter controls on owners of firearms.

Milorad Veljovic, head of Serbian Police, said police were working on a draft Law on Weapons and Ammunition that would provide greater control over people who possess guns. “The draft will be passed to the government in the coming days,” Veljovic said.

The move comes after a 60-year-old man, named only as Ljubisa B., went on the rampage on Tuesday morning, killing six men, six women and a boy aged two in Velika Ivanca, 60 kilometres south of Belgrade.

According to the police, he also tried to kill his wife and then to kill himself, and both were now lying injured in hospital. The motive for the crime is not yet known.

Ljubisa B. was a war veteran who took part in the conflict in Croatia in the Nineties. He held a firearms permit and committed the rampage with his own semi-automatic 9mm pistol.

Veljovic said that the new law would envision periodical medical examinations of people with firearms permits. The period could be between three and five years, he added.

The government meanwhile met on Tuesday in an extraordinary session and declared April 10 a day of mourning. It also expressed condolences and offered support to the families of the victims.

The killing spree is the worst such crime in Serbia’s recent history. In 2002, a 32-year-old killed seven and wounded four in the southern town of Leskovac after a brawl with his ex-wife.

In 2007, 39-year-old Nikola Radosavljevic shot dead nine people and injured two when he opened fire in the village of Jabukovac, near the border with Romania and Bulgaria.