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Russia Moves to Legalize Bowhunting

Svetlana Bobrova / TASS

Russian lawmakers have passed legislation to allow bow-and-arrow hunting.

Possession of bows for purposes other than sport and research is currently prohibited in Russia. Around 1 million unlicensed bows, crossbows and similar ranged weapons are owned by “hundreds of thousands” of Russians, lawmakers cite official data as saying.

A newly passed bill distinguishes throwing weapons into those that use “muscular force” or “a mechanical device” to fire projectiles. Bows will fall under the mechanical category and could be sold to Russian citizens who have hunting licenses and weapons permits.

“Unlike crossbows, the use of bows as a hunting weapon requires special physical skills and abilities, while their technical characteristics guarantee safe use,” an explanatory note said.

Lawmakers in Russia’s lower house of parliament voted unanimously for the draft bill in its third and final reading Wednesday.

The new measure will need to be approved by the upper-house Federation Council and President Vladimir Putin before it becomes law.

It will come into force six months after publication.

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