Serbs hand over thousands of weapons after

BELGRADE, Serbia: Serbian citizens handed over nearly 6,000 unregistered weapons in the first three days of a month-long amnesty period that is part of an anti-gun crackdown following two mass shootings last week, police said Thursday.
The police also received nearly 300,000 rounds and around 470 explosive devices during the same period, the Serbian Interior Ministry said on Instagram.
The effort to rid Serbia of excessive guns was launched after 17 people were killed in two mass shootings last week and 21 were injured, many of them children. One of the shootings took place in a school for the first time in Serbia.
Authorities have told citizens to give up unregistered guns by June 8 or face jail time. Other anti-gun measures include banning new gun licenses, tighter checks on gun owners and shooting ranges, and tougher penalties for illegal possession of guns.
The school shooter was a 13-year-old boy who used his father’s gun to open fire on his classmates at a primary school in central Belgrade last Wednesday, police said. A day later, a 20-year-old man opened fire with an automatic weapon in a rural area south of the capital.
Serbia is believed to be among the top countries in Europe in terms of per capita gun ownership, which is partly inherited from the wars of the 1990s. Police on Wednesday arrested the father of the suspected village gunman for illegal possession of weapons.
Both shootings sparked calls for change and more tolerance in Serbian society. Thousands marched in opposition-led protests in Belgrade and other cities, demanding the resignation of populist government ministers as well as a ban on TV channels broadcasting violent content and harboring war criminals . More protests are scheduled for Friday.
the populist president of Serbia, Alexander Vucic, accused opposition parties of using the tragedy for political purposes. He announced plans for a clean rally at the end of May.
Vucic, a former ultranationalist who now says he wants to bring Serbia into the European Union, has been accused of promoting hate speech against opponents, restricting free speech by tightly controlling mainstream media and to take control of all state institutions. He denied this.


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