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Confusion as Putin Signs Law Not Approved by State Duma

Vladimir Putin Kremlin Press Service

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the confusion surrounding recently adopted amendments to Russian weapon ownership laws was the result of a mistake in the State Duma database, rather than a conscious decision, the Meduza news agency reported Wednesday.

A package of amendments to legislation on ownership of weapons, signed by President Vladimir Putin on Sunday, ruled that Russian weapons ownership licences should expire after five years — unlike the Duma version of the bill, which said the license would last 10 years.

Peskov claimed that the parliament's database can not be considered as the law's "official publisher" and that the version signed by Putin is correct. The law comes as part of a series of bills establishing a new National Guard force, answerable only to the Kremlin.

Ten-year licenses were mentioned in the first version of the amendment, Peskov said, adding that the term was then reduced to five years in Duma’s final version of the document that reached the president through the Federation Council, the RIA Novosti news agency reported. ? 

"We have figured it out. Apparently, some old documents appeared on the website not related to the president,” Peskov said, RIA Novosti reported.

The law on weapons allowed Russians to obtain permissions to own civil firearms used for hunting, sports or self-defense. The five-year license validity remained unchanged in the amendments signed by Putin, Meduza reported.

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