Staunton, November 14 – Only 10 percent of the 5,000 to 6,000 crimes involving guns in Russia each year involve weapons that have been officially registered with the authorities, according to Svetlana Ternova of the licensing department of the Russian Guards (mbk-news.appspot.com/suzhet/redko-no-metko-kakie/).
Those statistics reflect both the obstacles the authorities impose on those who seek to own guns (other than hunting rifles), obstacles that Anastasiya Olshanskaya of MBK News describes and that clearly discourage many, and the relative ease of obtaining a gun in the shadow economy if someone wants to do so for criminal or other purposes.
Officials like Ternova say that Russians are now purchasing fewer handguns, although they are buying more hunting rifles. (The latter, however, are almost never used in the commission of violent crimes, these officials report.) But ever more often, Russians are waking to stories about violent crime involving guns.
The latest occurred this past week when a student in Blagoveshchensk shot and killed a fellow student and wounded four others before turning the gun on himself (siberiantimes.com/other/others/news/college-shooting-kills-one-injures-four-in-the-far-east-of-russia/).
The number of such cases does not begin to approach that in the United States, but it is such a departure from the past, both in terms of the use of weapons in the commission of crimes and of massive reporting about them, that has put many Russians on edge concerning the risks involved even with legal gun ownership.