Attorney Bozo Prelevic on June 13 said that the Order to surrender firearms was illegitimate, adding that it had partially been confirmed by the Interior Ministry.
Prelevic told BETA that by law, the police minister had the right to allow registration of illegally obtained firearms, but not to issue an order calling for surrender of unlicensed weapons under a government amnesty. He stressed that Interior Minister Bratislav Gasic’s Order was illegitimate and unconstitutional.
Prelevic said that the word “legalization” derived from the French word “legalisation” meaning making something that was previously illegal permissible by law, “and not surrendering arms without being able to claim compensation for a surrendered weapon as it has been incorrectly defined by law.”
Prelevic further said that the police minister’s order was amending the relevant law, because according to the document, during weapons surrender campaign, the police would not been checking the origin of the surrendered firearms or establishing accountability for unlicensed keep and bear of firearms.
He stressed that the major problem posed by the minister’s order was the fact that firearms used for committing criminal acts could also be surrendered, as the police had not been performing forensic firearm examination against their databases.
“The Interior Ministry is a service of citizens, which should play an active role in ensuring safety of all, but also a body whose professionalism should be guided by law,” Prelevic noted. He stressed that the Interior Ministry had “partially” confirmed his argument that the Order to surrender weapons was illegitimate.
On June 12, the Interior Ministry dismissed as “legally unfounded and not supported by the evidence” the allegations questioning the legitimacy and constitutionality of the Order to surrender firearms and munition issued by line Minister Bratislav Gasic.
According to the Interior Ministry, the allegations disputing the legitimacy and constitutionality of Minister Gasic’s Order “are deprived of any sense to recognize the public interest at the present moment.”