Meloni interrogated following incident where Italian MP’s firearm discharged during New Year’s Eve celebration

Man hospitalized with bullet wound following incident involving firearm belonging to Emanuele Pozzolo

Italian opposition leaders are requesting “clarity” from Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni after a gun owned by a member of her far-right Brothers of Italy party accidentally discharged at a New Year’s Eve gathering.

Emanuele Pozzolo confirmed ownership of the pistol, but denied firing the bullet that grazed the leg of a 31-year-old man who was part of the security team for Italian justice ministry undersecretary Andrea Delmastro.

According to Italian media reports, the gun was fired after being passed around among guests at a party in Rosazza, hosted by Delmastro’s sister Francesca, who is also the mayor of the town in Piedmont.

“I confirm that the gun, which I legally own, was fired accidentally by one of the party participants, not by me,” stated Pozzolo to the news agency.

The injured man, who is the brother-in-law of one of Delmastro’s bodyguards, was taken to the hospital, though the wound was not reported as serious. The incident is currently under investigation.

Elly Schlein, leader of the centre-right Democratic party, urged Meloni to promptly clarify her intended actions against Pozzolo. Schlein added, “These incompetents are not only a threat to the safety of those around them but also to national security.”

Matteo Renzi, former prime minister and leader of the centrist Italia Viva party, commented on social media, “Why bring a gun to a New Year’s Eve party attended by parliamentary deputies and government members? Meloni’s government is not a ruling class – they are inadequate, incapable, unpresentable … and dangerous, first and foremost to themselves.”

Meloni has not publicly addressed the incident, but a statement from Brothers of Italy asserted that it holds “no political significance.” The statement added, “If any illegal or inappropriate behavior on Pozzolo’s behalf emerges [from the investigation], appropriate measures will also be taken by the party. The attempt to turn this event into a political matter in order to attack Brothers of Italy is absurd.”

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Delmastro, who claimed to be outside when the incident occurred shortly after 1 am and therefore not a witness, distanced himself from Pozzolo. Reportedly, Pozzolo arrived at the party to “say hello” after celebrating the new year elsewhere. “I invited him, but I would never have imagined he would bring a gun,” Delmastro told La Repubblica. “If I had known, I would not have invited him.”

Approximately 1.2 million non-police and non-security forces Italians own firearms. Italy has strict laws regarding gun ownership and use. Individuals must undergo a rigorous process to obtain a gun license, and once purchased, gun owners must notify the interior ministry. Another special license is required to carry a gun in public spaces.

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