SEESAC supported the Ministry of Interior in drafting of the new Law on weapons and ammunition

This workshop, organized on 5-6 December in Arandjelovac, gathered representatives of the Ministry of Interior in Serbia to work on the draft of the new Law on weapons and ammunition that is to address the existing gaps and its harmonization with the EU Acquis and relevant international practice.

SEESAC supports Western Balkan jurisdictions in harmonizing their arms-control legislation with the Union regulatory framework and other related international obligations and standards across the region and thus continue to strengthen safety and security through regional cooperation in South East Europe. Within these efforts, SEESAC supported development of table of concordance on the extent of the harmonization of the existing Law on weapons and ammunition and other relevant legislation in place in Serbia related to SALW with the relevant EU regulatory framework.

Governed by the identified gaps, participants discussed provisions of the draft Law, specifically the definitions of the law, categorization of weapons and ammunition, provisions on possession and carrying of weapons and ammunition as well as collection, registration of weapons and ammunition and issuance of relevant documents. The subject of circulation and transportation of weapons and ammunition, as well as training in handling of weapons and ammunition and operation of civilian shooting ranges sparked up a lively discussion among participants, having in mind recent mass shootings in Serbia that brought these matters in public spotlight.

The Workshop resulted in the first draft of the Law, that will be further discussed within the Ministry of Interior of Serbia, among different departments that took part in this workshop as well as with all other relevant institutions involved in its implementation.

The workshop was opened by Mr. Miroslav Panic, Secretary of the Ministry of Interior, who underlined the significance of finalization of the new Law on weapons and ammunition in the light of the recent tragic events that shook the society in Serbia, but also as an important step forward in the EU integrations process.

This workshop was organized within the EU Council Decision (CFSP) 2019/2111 under the framework of SEESAC disarmament and arms control activities in South-East Europe reducing the threat of illicit small arms and light weapons and their ammunition.