Government passes new Firearms Act, opposition not happy

Since crazed gunman Lubomir Harman shot down in cold blood 7 of his neighbours and others in the Devinska Nova Ves borough of the city last August, before being shot dead himself, the issue of gun control and the revision to the Act on Firearms have created heated debate. Yesterday the government put a lid on the issue for the time being by pushing through the version put together by interior minister Daniel Lipsic.

Killer Harman on the loose - photo by Jakub Smeja

The revision introduces a regular 10-year psychological exam for anyone holding firearms, and as Lipsic pointed out, puts stricter controls on the licensing and use of firearms from 1 May 2011, even though he had to water the law down a little. The law applies to everyone who possesses a firearm, including the police and sportspeople, and will even prohibit the police from making house searches for guns.

The opposition bench through former interior minister Robert Kalinak of Smer-SD plans to submit its own version of the act at an upcoming session. Kalinak is angry that the interior minister didn’t hold a broader debate before passing the law, even though it has been in the pipeline since the Devinska killings last August. He also argues that psychologists could offer no guarantee for the mental health of weapon holders.

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