Saudi to permit gun shops: News24: World: News
Saudi to permit gun shops
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Riyadh - Saudis will be able to buy handguns and other personal firearms openly for the first time after the interior ministry said on Saturday it will licence privately owned gun shops.
Anyone over 25 with no criminal record could apply to open a gun store, the ministry said, according to the official SPA news agency.
An official said the move is aimed in part at reining in the widespread illegal ownership of handguns and assault weapons.
Hunting and sport shooting weapons are currently sold in specialty stores, and all weapons are supposed to be licensed.
But a large number of personal guns, including assault rifles, are owned and traded without permits, according to a person familiar with the business.
There are no statistics on how many guns exist in private hands in the kingdom.
But in July, Riyadh police said they had seized 1 091 weapons and more than 13 200 pieces of ammunition in the capital area in the preceding six months, a Saudi Gazette report said.
Last week, the interior ministry also said it would accept applications to set up private shooting clubs.