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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

City Duma Wants to Bear Arms

In response to numerous attacks against deputies, the City Duma has passed the first reading of a resolution to allow all Moscow legislators to carry guns, a spokesman for the body said Friday.

According to Alexander Gromyko, head of the legal department of the City Duma, there were hopes to change the present law and add deputies to the special categories of people allowed to carry arms, because of the growing danger they faced in their work.

"This work has become very dangerous lately. We are meeting hundreds of people and are completely vulnerable," he said.

"I personally think that state officials and deputies, that is, those who are taking decisions should be strongly protected from criminal pressure from outside. Of course, the right to carry pistols is not a universal remedy but something is better than nothing."

However, according to Yelena Tarasova of the City Duma, the decision was taken despite strong opposition from the Moscow Prosecutor's officers.

"Deputies were warned by the representative from the Moscow Prosecutor's office, so they were aware that their decision did not correspond to the law," she said.

"Deputies should protect themselves with only one weapon -- with laws which they adopt. They should work to protect all citizens from criminals."

Vitaly Ryabov of the prosecutor's office said that the Moscow Prosecutor Gennady Ponomaryov would officially protest if the decision was finally adopted.

"The feelings of the deputies are quite understandable. They have been victims of so many attacks. But they should not simply follow their emotions," he said.

In the past 12 months two deputies of the State Duma, Andrei Aidzerdzis and Valentin Martemyanov, have been killed, and Nikolai Moskovchenko of the City Duma has been seriously injured.