Ceasefire! It's a wedding


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The Independent Online

Firing off bullets into the sky has been a jubilant climax to thousands of weddings in Russia's remote areas - but now the custom is under threat, as armed guests venture closer to cities and stray bullets cause an increasing amount of mayhem.

On September 30, Moscow police stopped a Dagestani wedding caravan whose passengers were openly blasting their weapons as they travelled through the capital. One guest had apparently been aiming ruber bullets at passing cars - it being taboo to overtake a wedding wagon in Dagestani tradition.

This week Putin's ruling party United Russia moved to punish unauthorized shooters further - putting forward an initiative to fine them up to $1,700, with the added possibility of jail time.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev supported the clampdown, saying that if a person had shot off guns in a similar manner in New York, “police would have opened fire and would have been justified in doing so.”