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Saudi has just introduced new laws allowing private companies to sell firearms. Is the kingdom arming itself?
October 18, 2009 4:14 by Aarti Nagraj
However, there are also many restrictions about the usage of the weapons; firearms are banned from “the vicinity of the two holy mosques and other mosques, near military grounds and oil bases and areas that clearly state that they should not be approached,” says the report. They are also banned in government offices, airports, schools, public gatherings, or private and public celebrations. Violators will be charged SR1000 ($267), said the bill.
According to Arab News, in the six months up to July this year, Riyadh police have seized 1,091 weapons and more than 13,200 pieces of ammunition.
Why is Saudi is increasing both its arms spending – it is one of the top ten spenders of arms and ammunition in the world – and opening up its firearms laws? Is it because of a rising security problem, or is it in anticipation of something we don’t know about? Or is it nothing?