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  Wednesday, October 23, 2019
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Chechnya's State Council has asked the republic's president to permit its residents to keep and buy smoothbore arms
The move is needed to ensure the security of law-abiding citizens in the face of the "bandit threat." The State Council's chairman, Taus Dzhabrailov, announced this news at a press conference in Moscow yesterday, Novye Izvestia writes. He recalled that Chechnya's Interior Ministry was perhaps the only one in Russia's that had no right to license the keeping and purchase of this type of weaponry. In its request to the Chechen president, the State Council proposed that self-defense detachments be organized in populated areas. "This will be a form of defense against illegal bandit formations which are still freely moving across Chechnya," he stressed. "Many smoothbore and rifle-bore arms are kept in Chechnya," said Valery Trushnikov, the deputy chairman of the defense and security committee of the Federation Council (upper house of Russian parliament), when commenting on these statements. He pointed out that there were entire army depots in the republic to which the peaceful population has access. "The former interior minister, Boris Gryzlov, revoked the Chechen Interior Ministry's right to license the purchase of weapons by ordinary citizens," Mr. Trushnikov said. "If Mr. Dzhabrailov wants to restore it, he should ask Mr. Gryzlov for this." At the same time, the senator stressed: "Smoothbore weapons may help to scare off hooligans, but peaceful residents, even if they are armed with rifles, are impotent in the face of militants armed to the teeth." Mr. Dzhabrailov, though, is not pinning all his hopes on self-defense detachments alone. In his opinion, a regiment of Interior Ministry troops must play a decisive role in ensuring the security of the residents of the republic. Accordingly, he believes it is time to withdraw federal forces from the republic's mountainous areas.
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