Saudis Allowed to Buy Firearms Openly

So the law that should regulate the work of civil society organizations in the country has been pending for about 3 years now, but this one gets passed. How can anything good come out of this?

26 thoughts on “Saudis Allowed to Buy Firearms Openly

  1. The stated goal of this — to bring to legality the many firearms currently owned extra-legally is worthy.

    I would ask the Z theory for further views.

    • From your blog:

      “So theres talk about opening up the sale of handguns in Saudi. No waiting period, just a SR500000 Bank Guarantee. Which is the equivalent of a ‘5 accidental death’ coupon.
      See, the law here does not take into account inflation, and killing someone accidentally does not result in the death penalty, but a SR 100000 fine (US$26500) that was set in the 60’s. So your covered for up to 5 fatalities.”

      Well stated! As is your comment above.

      • Chiara & Rowdy,
        I believe you misunderstood the SR500,000 BG requirement as it is towards applying for a licence to open a gun store, and not for buying a gun individually.

        Also, manslaughter (i.e killing accidently) results in paying the Diyah which is technically not classified as a “fine”, nor as the commonly mistaken “blood money” as the latter is associated with ransom for kidnapping.

        Diyah in Shari’a law, as the majority of jurists have argued, is technically a form of compensation.

  2. The only good that could come of this is a gun registry, and tight control on who buys what type of gun and uses it where.

    Tight gun legislation has been directly correlated with reduced homicide rates. eg Canada vs the US.

    Those places with the tightest gun control laws,for the longest period of time have the lowest incidence of homicide and violent crime, and of course accidental shootings. This is true even province by province within Canada. The fact that others have registered their guns helps police identify criminal weapons. Even bad guys have a tougher time obtaining fire arms if their availability is tightly controlled and stolen arms registered and reported.

    • This statement is COPMLETELY false! Of the fifteen states in the United States with the HIGHEST violent crime rates, ten of them have the STRICTEST gun-control laws in the Country. It is a PROVEN fact in the United States that more guns equals less crime. The violent crime rate in the US has been decreasing for twenty years, with a decrease year after year (FBI’s UCR report), and gun ownership has been steadily increasing with nearly 400,000,000 firearms in the hands of citizens. Forty states have “shall issue” concealed weapons permits, with 26 states not requiring any permit or license to carry a firearm on your person. Only FOUR US cities are responsible for over 20% of our nation’s violent crime, and those four cities have the strongest gun-control measures in the country (New York, Chicago, Washington D.C., and Detroit). In 1966 New Jersey adopted the “strongest gun control measure in the country” — two years later the murder rate was up 46%! In 1976 Washington D.C. enacted the most severe gun control legislation they had ever had and one of the strictest in the country; now the murder rate in D.C. is up 134% while the national average is down 4% from 1976. More gun mean less crime. I would suggest some folks commit to research before they make up their bias nonsense!

  3. Chiara:

    I am sure that you are correct, yet I would also note that our culture is quite different than than of Canada.

    Your society is, as best as I can understand it, based on the rule of law rather than of men.

    Your police serve that law, and rather impartially serve the law.

    We are in a society in which we generally do not even have laws, and the laws that do exist are readily mutable at any time by any cleric if he asserts that Divine law requires a different outcome.

    Our police do not even profess impartiality, and serve many things besides any laws.

    As a result, our culture is characterised by a rather different feeling towards the law and those who police it than I expect exists in Canada.

    And, of course, having nations on our borders that are in active states of warfare only worsens this situations.

    Thus, while as an ideal, I agree with you, I question whether a goal of gun registry is reasonably achievable.

    Our citizens must develop a sense of personal safety and the notion that any potential gun registry would exist to aid that personal safety, rather than a perception that further domination by the clerical establishment and its enforcers is being intensified.

    It really is a vexing issue.

  4. its exactly all we need! education? infrastructure? valid income for when we run out of oil soon? who needs that!
    know that saying: اللي تعرف ديتو، إقتلو? taken pretty literally.

  5. Hear hear, Andrew. Well said.

    I might add, also, it is well known that getting a weapon in Saudi is as easy as it is necessary. A good connection with a Bedouin would get you any kind of auto or semi-auto weapon you would imagine. Yet, this is not the first attempt of gun regulation by MOI. After the initial Al-Qaida attacks in Saudi, MOI announced that it opened the door for a couple of months to all Saudis who own guns to come forward in order to license their weapons. But a lot of anger resulted when MOI just took the serial numbers, caliber and ID number of those people without issuing them licenses. For me it was not unexpected by MOI.

    Though I do believe in the necessity of gun control in Saudi, I am afraid that this move would just result in further injustice and discrimination.

    I wonder if a privileged kid in his Bentley out of one of Riyadh’s posh schools yielding a chrome plated AK47 with ivory grips, would be required, nay expected, to have a license for it?

    I wonder if any of these gun stores would be licensed to open in Qatif, and Saudi Shais would be sold and licensed weapons?

    Would this move pioneer the notions of rule of law in Saudi or would just result in the usual arbitrariness of MOI?

  6. Z Theory–I did understand the fee as being for opening a gun store, and understood Rowdy Saudi’s “observation” as being an ironic condemnation of the idea. I thought it was a rather good dark humoured approach to the topic. I am glad to have your excellent explication however, especially of the so commonly misused “blood money” vs diyah as compensation! I also appreciate your elaboration on the topic in your second general comment.

    Andrew–Thank you for your excellent comment, and I can certainly appreciate your vexation. If I understood you correctly, you are vexed both with the general populace who don’t have a sufficient notion of personal safety or appreciation of a gun registry as aiding that goal, and with the system in Saudi which prevents them from legimately having any confidence in the police or the judiciary, rendering such a gun registry rather another tool for selective repression rather than safety. Please correct me if I am wrong.

    As regards my own comment, I should have been more clear that I was merely trying to look for any possible good that might come of this, and not trying to directly compare Canada with Saudi, which I appreciate are very different cultures. And though our neighbours to the south seem to be perpetually at war with someone (currently 2 countries overtly) or against something (poverty, drugs, terrorism), I do appreciate that our borders are much safer and more stable than yours.

    Based on your first comment to the post, we seem to be in agreement that regulating gun ownership is desirable, but the mechanics of that is a challenge, especially in Saudi.

    Z Theory–sorry to raise this on such an important topic, but–a Bentley? The name conjures images of stodgy conservatism and the quiet ostentation of old money. Hopefully they have better taste in cars–but then my knowledge of car make and model designs is limited.

    • Oh no, Chiara. You are thinking of the Bentleys in stuffy Buckinghamshire, England. In Saudi Bentleys are bought b/c they are expensive, thus exclusive, and satisfies the need to be acknowledged or perceived to be of a higher class, or by people of automatic wealth who never had the common-man’s value of the riyal. But rarley for a pasion for that car.

      I am surprised to learn that you are in Canada, I assumed, out of your enthusiasm and knowledge on Saudi law in some posts, that you are in Saudi.

      • LOL :) Quite right about the Bentleys. I was imaging “Remains of the Day” rather than the new sport models viewable on GoogleIimages.
        Do Bentleys then have the right of way? You know, 2 cars are driving in opposite directions down the middle of the road on a residential street, and the Bentley makes the BMW back up a block or 2 so it can turn onto a main street, just because its more expensive? Or does that only happen in Morocco? eg. BMW over Citroen?

        Alas, I have not yet migrated to Jeddah and the Red Sea Coral reef, but I am enjoying Indian Summer which finally started yesterday. My interest in Saudi law stems from an interest in Islamic law (they overlap but are not fully congruent as you know LOL :) ), especially the Mudwana. Call it professional interest, or, as I am married Islamically–self defense! LOL :)

  7. Yes our Bentleys have the right of way, in every way. They don’t have to back up for the road as they “own” the road. Except when you find 3 Bentleys on a light, where usually they turn out to be cousins, the drivers of course. :)

  8. I write in my blog “…So what I propose is a call for a total nationwide ban on handguns! We need to move forward people, not back! Shocking news Saudi! So I ask, Won’t it be better to make guns illegal in Saudi Arabia?

    Devils Advocate note: No. I don’t believe it would be better to make guns illegal because it just makes it harder for the honest people to defend themselves. Illegal or not, criminals get guns no matter what the laws are.”

  9. Rafimous:

    Your comments seem redolent of American debates on the issue for the USA.

    Our situation is rather different.

    Your comments incorporate the assumption that there are laws that are fixed and invariant.

    In the context of our country, in which laws do not exist as they do in the USA, these Western axioms do not exist.

    For example, the “Devils Advocate” comment presupposes that honest people follow laws.

    Our society is rather different. Honesty and obedience to law are two unrelated concepts in our society — concepts that both overlap and diverge.

    A very honest person in our society may or may not follow laws.

    • And honest people in a culture like in the KSA don’t really have recourse for objectively or practically stupid rulings made by authorities.

      Things ought to be fair and reasonable, and often they are not. Which is farcical source of the unofficial byline of this very blog; We are young and we are not amused.

  10. Chiara: you’re an idiot for not doing the minimum home work on that one: “Tight gun legislation has been directly correlated with reduced homicide rates. eg Canada vs the US.” Did you really think that all of us on here are just going to take that at face value?

    This is false, and if you took the time to research it online, there is absolutely no irrefutable evidence supporting your statement. On the contrary.

    And to answer Ahmad’s question:

    the only good that could come out of this new law, is that some nut with a gun, could finally one day shut up all you aimless ignorant talking-heads that are dying for some attention!

    LOL…told you! It hurst! … HAHAHAHAHA!

  11. Jailed for talking to the newspaper
    By Joe Avancena

    It doesn’t say: Jailed because the Islamic Court Judge decided to give it all to the wife! (the house and SR3,000 alimonies)

    I guess, even in the Saudi Press there are biased morons on the enemy’s payroll: they will talk about this incident as breach of freedom of expression. Ah the freedom of expression! That makes imbecile tick! But they will NEVER mention that the woman got it all!

    Where are the obnoxious loud mouth feminists always ready to point an accusatory finger at Islamic Courts and Scholars? At those Islamic Scholars and Judges! “Oh those Muslims men! All the same oppressors and misogynist! It’s Islam! It’s the men! It’s the backward Islamic Scholars out of the Middle Ages!”
    Where are you loud mouths?!

    Why don’t you mention oh! Ahmad those cases where women are treated well, with justice and dignity? Why do you always have to bring about anecdotal cases and subjects where the Kingdom, Saudis and Islam are depicted the way they are in the west?! They can claim ignorance. But YOU?! what is your excuse?

    Be careful what you wish for! Your secret might soon be exposed and you bring ruin and shame to your whole family!

    Yes it hurts! And it will hurt more if you don’t stop this whole arrogant rant about the Kingdom and Muslims!

    • I don’t see that feminism is the goal of this blog or any posts herein. Though, I see general notions of freedom, justice and equality as motivational grounds for this blog and some of its intelligent posts.

      If the lack of women’s rights or any of those general notions in Saudi is a near-certain fact, then rebuttal evidence lies on the contenders to that fact.

      I believe it is self-evident enough that the only case you could come up with to demonstrate justice in Saudi is unjust in itself.

  12. It Hurts Doesn’t it?–It is worse than you think. I actually did my homework both international stats and provincial stats within Canada. I only turned in the concluding statements here although I have turned in the stats elsewhere in the blogosphere.

    Frankly, unless a commentator of the calibre of Andrew or Z Theory, or another regular is interested, I won’t bother turning them in here as being unnecessary to the discussion and easily found by those who can recognize a reliable site.

    Fortunately, the dog didn’t eat my homework, and my computer didn’t either, so if one of those types of commentators or Ahmed wants the data I will be happy to turn in that part of my homework.

    Rather painless, actually, except for the wince at your typo in your final coup de folie. It is always sad when someone’s signoff is marred by a typo, although we all do experience them, and so can empathize.

  13. Saudi Arabia is already awash with guns but violent crime is very low so bringing gun regulation to an unregulated mess is only a good thing!

    Serouisly whats the point of not opening gun stores to sell low caliber weapons when you have scenes like this:

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