Italian prosecutors initiated an inquiry on Tuesday following an incident where an MP from Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s party brought a gun to a New Year’s Eve celebration, resulting in someone getting shot.
Emanuele Pozzolo, a legislator for Meloni’s far-right Brothers of Italy party, acknowledged possessing the mini revolver but denied discharging it.
Prosecutors, in a statement, mentioned they are examining potential offenses such as involuntary or negligent injury and failure to secure a weapon. They confirmed the seizure of the firearm, identified as a North American Arms 0.22 handgun.
Prosecutors additionally confiscated the discharged bullet that hit a guest in the left thigh, identified as the son-in-law of a bodyguard of junior justice minister Andrea Delmastro, who reportedly was present at the party. The victim has been released from the hospital and has not filed a formal complaint, according to prosecutors.
Pozzolo, 38, asserted in a statement reported by La Repubblica that the shot was unintentionally fired from a legally owned pistol but emphasized that he did not discharge the weapon.
Opposition politicians expressed surprise and indignation over the incident at a party in Rosazza near Turin.
Firearm possession in Italy is subject to strict regulations, although Meloni’s party proposed last month to lower the minimum age for obtaining a permit for a hunting rifle to 16.
“We could not have imagined that the enthusiasm for weapons in Giorgia Meloni’s party was to the extent that MPs would bring them loaded to New Year’s Eve parties,” said Elly Schlein, leader of the center-left Democratic Party.
Former centrist prime minister Matteo Renzi added: “Why bring guns to a New Year’s Eve party in the presence of MPs and members of the government?
“Meloni’s (party) is not a ruling class. They are inadequate, incapable, unpresentable. And dangerous, first and foremost for themselves.”
Neither Meloni nor her party have officially responded to the incident.