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Sun 18 Oct 2009 07:45 AM

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Saudi gives green light to setting up gun shops

Authorities say move is part of crackdown on illegally owned firearms, weapons.

Saudi gives green light to setting up gun shops
GUN SHOPS: Saudi authorities are to allow the setting up of licensed gun shops in the kingdom.

Saudi authorities have announced that they will begin to license privately owned gun shops in the kingdom, aimed at curbing the widespread illegal ownership of weapons.

The Ministry of Interior said that anyone over 25 with a clean criminal record and a bank guarantee of SR500,000 could apply to open a gun store.

An official said the move was aimed in part at reining in the illegal ownership of handguns and assault weapons, Arab News reported on Sunday.

There are no statistics on how many guns exist in private hands in the kingdom but in the six months leading up to July, Riyadh police said they had seized 1,091 weapons and more than 13,200 pieces of ammunition in the area, the paper added.

Applicants will need to apply within 60 days of the ministry’s notification and fulfill all its conditions.

At the end of last month the ministry also announced its decision to give Saudis permission to start shooting clubs.

One of its requirements is that the club should be away from civil establishments, residential districts, schools, hospitals, markets, petrol stations and gas warehouses. The club’s warehouse should also have security measures installed, such as detection and warning systems.

There is a SR1,000 fine for anyone who carries arms in places where they are prohibited, such as the Two Holy Mosques, other mosques and military zones, government offices, airports, schools and public gatherings.

Unlicensed possession of firearms incurs a punishment of eight months jail and a SR6,000 fine.

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Buzz 10 years ago

Do we really need this!!!! ENOUGH what we hear about EVERY DAY war and kiling peopl all over the world. DO we really need this. I GUESS THEIR IS NO MOTR VALUE TO LIVE IN THIS WORLD

Infedel 10 years ago

Hey Buzz, wazup!!! Perhaps you haven't read the daily papers and haven't checked the number of fatalities due to minor disputes involving gun use. There are guns everywhere and it's about time they put a leash on it. At some point, guns will be greater in number than the ones owned by military weapons. Control is necessary and the best way to keep the community from accessing illegal commuted weapons over the boarder is by setting specialized places to raise awarness and merchants whom the government can keep a close eye on. Guns don't kill people. People kill people. Guns are not scary, only when put in a person's hand is when one should run to the bushes. However, perhaps the additional aspect to the truth is still to be discovered. Expatriates that flock from all over the region to get a slice of a job in KSA (peanut paying job). At most, riffraff, that some have lived life in larceny and breaking the law. By raising the level of security within the homes, would eventually arm the bandits as well. Either by seeking security themselves and possessing a firearm to subdue the unsuspecting victim or by lifting what ever they find in the possessions of home owners. If one is to object to home owned weapons, it only would be to sole reason that KSA is a desert, in majority especially Riyadh, and there is no need to own a weapon for there are no animals to hunt. Unless Man season is up :P. I would leave you with just this thought. PS: just in case: I would not appreciate the one who will comment by saying "who lives by the blabla would die by the blabla". There are far more ways to kick the bucket than by a gun. Cheers.

Fred 10 years ago

I fail to understand that on one hand they wish to curb the illegal use of guns, then on the other open shops. No matter how old you are or if you can afford a deposit, this move simply puts more guns in the public domain. What controls would be in place after the sale? You can't control what happens after the sale can you. The Saudi security forces have done a splendid job curbing the security situation, why take backward steps and allow gun sales to anyone at any age with a bit of security cash. Please think this through.

Srini 10 years ago

So the gun lobby doing great job. So Sad, my condolences to peace lovers.

Infedel 10 years ago

Obviously you are all missing the point. I say good for you that you don't want a widespread of gun possession; however, some want the safety of knowing they can defend themselves of perhaps an imaginary boogy man. As horrible as that may sound, it is to the contrary of your wishes. So I say 50-50 chance that you may have few guns in the community because some don't like guns, and the others go ahead and own one. I would say, instead of cowering in your home afraid of weapons, perhaps you should consider owning one. This way if someone drops by and leaves you a nice gift like a 9mm projectile, be sure to return the favor with a larger caliber, like 12 caliber 5 grain shotgun shell. They'll know you're a good pal. I would think that self defense compels the presence of a fire arm. This subject of course excludes all expatriates. You go do it in your own country.