Unlicensed weapons found on 17 women

Some of weapons seized by Saudi security forces after arresting suspected terrorists, in this September 28, 2015 photo. (SPA)

Some of weapons seized by Saudi security forces after arresting suspected terrorists, in this September 28, 2015 photo. (SPA)

Saudi courts reviewed last year 17 cases involving possession of weapons by Saudi and resident women, including those who relied on such weapons for self-protection in some villages in Tabuk.

A total of 395 cases involving possession of weapons without licenses among Saudis were reviewed by courts during the same year, with Riyadh leading with 161 cases.

According to lawyer and legal advisor Rayan Mufti, possession of unlicensed weapons is among the crimes punishable with a six-month jail time for the first offense. Possession of weapons to threaten others is punishable by up to three years in jail, increasing in the number of years should the weapon be fired at another person, even if the person is not injured.

He said the General Directorate for Weapons and Explosives, under the Ministry of Interior, has put in place certain regulations and warnings if the weapon is licensed, which include refraining from carrying the weapon within the boundaries of the Two Holy Mosques, near any mosque or military sites, or using them in locations that prohibit photography, public places and schools.

As for cases among women carrying weapons for self-protection, he said some husbands in rural villages train their wives to carry and use weapons in order to protect themselves and their children from any danger, noting it is rare to find women accused of carrying weapons for the purpose of threatening others.

According to regulations, the purchase of a firearm or ammunition without a license, or sale of such items to an unlicensed individual, is punishable with up to two years of imprisonment or a fine of up to SR7,000. A punishment of one year in prison and a fine of SR5,000 applies if a licensed weapon is used or carried in a manner beyond the scope of the license; a hunting weapon or ammunition is used by others without a license; unlicensed weapons or ammunition are transferred; a location to train individuals to use hunting weapons is established without a license; or weapon repair practices are carried out without a license or on unlicensed weapons.


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