By Neil Halligan
Ministry of Interior issues warnings against 'turning joy into sorrow'; reiterates fines for using firearms
Qatar’s Ministry of Interior (MOI) has reminded the public of the dangers of firing guns during special occasions, in particular weddings.
Through its Arabic Twitter account, the MOI posted a number of tweets warning against the tradition of firing guns and reminded the public that it is against the law to do so, Doha News reported.
In accordance with tradition and culture in many countries in the region, men fire guns during weddings to greet the groom and guests. Most countries, however, have introduced laws prohibiting the practice.
Speaking with Doha News, Dr. Najeeb Al Nuaimi, attorney and former Qatari minister of Justice, told the website that it is permissible to fire guns in isolated areas, away from built-up areas and neighbourhoods, as long as the firearm is licensed.
The tweets posted by the MOI say that firing guns “on special social occasions and weddings is extremely dangerous and may cause loss of life and material damage”.
Another warns people that while weapons at weddings are a symbol for pleasure and joy, “be careful not to turn our joys into sorrow”.
The penalty for using a firearm during a celebration, in accordance with the law introduced in 1999, is between $275 (QR1,000) and $825 (QR3,000). The fine for possession of an unlicensed firearm is $13,000 (QR50,000) and a possible prison sentence, depending on the type of weapon.