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ROP Drive to Register Weapons

Times of Oman

6 August 2013

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MUSCAT - The Royal Oman Police (ROP) recently carried out a drive to register all unlicensed weapons and conventional guns in the Musandam governorate.

More than 500 guns and conventional weapons were registered between May and August this year, according to a ROP official.

After the specified period, all unlicensed guns and conventional weapons that are found unregistered will be confiscated by the ROP, the official informed.

The ROP recently arrested a citizen on the charges of violating the law, sources from Khasab told the Times of Oman. The local residents protested against the arrest demanding that the accused be released from the Taybat police station. Following clashes with the police personnel at the police station, the locals, mostly young people, forcibly released the accused. This led to security personnel requisitioning reinforcements from the Special Tasks Force to maintain security in the area.

Sayyid Khalifa bin Murdas Al Busaidi, the Governor of Musandam, recently said in a statement that anyone who fails to register their weapon would be held legally accountable as per the Royal decrees. The statement added that the ROP has legal powers to seize unlicensed weapons and guns, and may also raid people's houses for the purpose.

Three people were murdered in 2012 with common handguns.

Citizens say they mostly use such conventional weapons for hunting and for their defence since they face threats of attacks from pirates when they go for fishing. Earlier, some fishermen were killed by pirates at the sea when they had gone for fishing. Citizens blamed the authorities concerned for failing to ensure the security of those fishermen.

Observers say that possessing traditional weapons was a common practice among Omani families. Some people use them for decoration and others for hunting wild animals.

As per the law, possessing conventional guns and other weapons without holding a licence provided by the ROP is illegal and anyone found violating this law would be fined OMR100, and their weapons confiscated.

ID: N302

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