By Constantinos Psillides
A SERIES of amendments aimed at curbing the public use of guns will be introduced within 30 days, according to Interior and Defence ministers Socratis Hasikos and Christoforos Fokaides.
The two ministers said that making sure that guns are not used in criminal activities “is crucial.”
“Tens of thousands of our fellow countrymen have guns in their houses, either because they are army reservists or hunters. Thus, prevention and properly informing the public is of the essence,” said Hasikos.
The interior minister explained that each ministry has assigned a committee to come up with proposals within a month. These suggestions will then be compiled and sent to the House of Representatives for discussion and approval.
The proposals will focus on taking the guns out of the hands of people deemed unstable. Hasikos stressed that retrieving all the reservists’ guns was out of the question.
The decision followed a public outcry in August when a 35-year-old man shot and killed his ex-wife and then turned the gun on himself. The man used a hunting shotgun –for which he had a licence – but investigation revealed that the man was treated in a psychiatric hospital and that he should have had his licence revoked.
The murder-suicide followed a similar crime executed with a military-issue G3 rifle in June, when a 41-year old electrician shot and killed his estranged wife and his nine-year old daughter. He also shot his son, 14, who survived despite sustaining two gunshot wounds.
The electrician stood over his son in the street and then took his own life.
Last October, a 32-year-old man shot and killed his wife with his assault rifle and injured his underage daughter before taking his own life at the home of the woman’s parents in Ayios Ioannis in Limassol.
G3s were also used in robberies like the one in Nicosia in August where three robbers held the driver of a security van on a money run at gunpoint and stole €25,000 belonging to a Co-op bank.
A former convict who was on the run from police for several days in April also used a G3 to fire at his pursuers.