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Iraqi Kurdistan ‘orders seizure’ of weapons held without a permit

2019/02/10 | 20:30

(Hatha al-Youm | Iraq News)- Guns in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan. Photo credit: Andrew W Nunn/The Daily Beast/thedailybeast.com

HEWLÊR-Erbil, Iraq’s Kurdistan region,— Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Ministry of Interior has authorized the police to seize weapons that do not have valid permits.

The ministry will take legal action against the people who own guns without permission from authorized government institutions, according to a statement issued by the Interior Ministry on Sunday.

Pistols and Kalashnikovs are excluded from the order, although owners must still obtain permits for them.











“Centers will be opened by the police and Asayish [security] directorates in the centers of the provinces, districts, and sub-districts to gather the weapons that are abandoned or seized,” the statement said.

“The weapons will then be handed over to the Ministry of Peshmerga.”

The civilians holding weapons without permission will receive official notification to hand over their weapons to the centers, the ministry’s statement said.

The amnesty will be effective for the next six months, according to the statement.

“The owners of the weapons will face trial in accordance with guns law if any weapons are seized after the period,” the statement said.

in 2017 Iraq’s Kurdistan Region’s Independent Commission for Human Rights said there is a growing market in the illegal trade of guns and weapons in the city of Sulaimani in Iraqi Kurdistan due to a lack of gun controls in place.

The interior ministry said in 2017 that only around 3,150 gun owners in Iraq’s Kurdistan Region have permits for their firearms. The ministry issues licenses to gun owners across the Kurdistan Region in coordination with provincial authorities.

There are no official data about the number of guns or people who carry them, but the ministry says the large majority of gun owners have no permission for their firearms.

At least 70 people were detained in May 2017 in Erbil after a police raid targeted unlicensed gun owners, most of whom were released on bail or after paying fines.

Kurdistan Region laws have heavy penalties for unlicensed gun owners including relatively long jail sentences — up to one year in prison in addition to paying fees.

In January 2016 Germany called on the KRG to ensure that arms provided by Berlin were only used by Kurdish peshmerga after German public broadcasters WDR and NDR reported that weapons from the German military, including G3 assault rifles and various pistols, were spotted on sale in the black markets in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Copyright © 2019, respective author or news agency, nrttv.com | Ekurd.net

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