Call for action as weapons sold openly in Kuwait flea market

October 5, 2010
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Weapons for sale in flea market - Al Qabas

Kuwaitis are urging the authorities to take action on the open sale of firearms by unlicensed sellers to unlicensed buyers at a weekly flea market in Kuwait.

Despite laws imposing strict restrictions on gun ownership in Kuwait, young people can get hold of a handgun or hunting rifle for as little as KD30, Al Qabas daily reported.

The guns are mainly hunting rifles that can be obtained only with a license, but several Arab and Asian traders are offering them and other firearms in Suq Al Juma, the Friday Market, without concern about the illegal aspect of their trade.

“There is a need for the interior ministry and municipality officials to take action against the sale of weapons, no matter how light they are,” Ali Al Saleh, a Kuwaiti citizen at the weekly market for second-hand furniture, videos, electronics, rugs, garments, antiques and livestock, said. “The cheap prices are a strong temptation for teenagers and their proliferation among them is a sure cause for a higher crime rate,” he said, quoted by the paper.

Jamal Al Abdullah said that a closer monitoring was needed and a proper licensing was required.

“The problem is that they are available and cheap to buy, especially during school holidays when people tend to go camping,” he said, referring to the tendency among young people to use them during their idle time.

For Khalaf Al Mutairi, the safety of Kuwaitis should be given priority. “The availability of these weapons is alarming. Action is needed to protect the society regardless of the smiles put up by Asian sellers when asked about the origin of the weapons,” he said.

Abu Salem said that sold weapons unwanted by friends and family members.

“These weapons are of the light type, such as daggers, knives and rifles, and are used for hunting. The majority of my customers are older people who ask very specific questions before making a decision,” he said.

Kumar, an expatriate, said that he sold light weapons on behalf of friends or his partner. “Most of the customers are young people and teenagers. Firearms attract older people and their prices vary according to their characteristics,” he said, quoted by the daily.

         

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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Career
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
Education
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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