MOSCOW, December 22 (RIA Novosti) – Moscow police on Sunday stopped a 12-car wedding motorcade in the south of the Russian capital after receiving a complaint that shots were being fired from the cars, a police spokesman said.
Thirty-five people from the procession were checked and taken to a police station. One of them, a 29-year-old resident of the Moscow Region, handed police a rubber-bullet pistol. All but the man with the handgun, who police said had fired a few shots into the air, were soon released.
An investigation is underway.
In July 2013, Russian President Vladimir Putin banned shooting firearms in public places by ruling to fine those shooting beyond shooting ranges 40,000-50,000 rubles ($1,200-$1,500) or suspend their permits to buy and store firearms for 1.5-3 years. The shooters will also have their weapons and ammunition confiscated.
The initiative was triggered by a high-profile case involving a shooting in central Moscow in September 2012, when participants of a wedding procession, led by a Ferrari and followed by other luxury vehicles, were reported to have fired non-lethal guns into the air while the cars blocked traffic.
Those involved later claimed that it is a Dagestani cultural tradition to shoot guns in the air during celebrations; 15 wedding participants were detained and later released. One person was arrested for 15 days for firing a weapon and paid a 2,000 ruble ($65) fine. The case was followed by several similar incidents.
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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.