Legal Carry Comes to Baghdad
Russ Chastain 08.22.18
You might not think of gun shops when you think of Baghdad, but legal gun sellers are reportedly enjoying increased business lately, due to a “re-thinking” of Iraqi gun laws. Mainly, these new laws allow citizens to carry handguns and semi-automatic rifles for self defense — after jumping through the required legal hoops.
Until this summer, citizens who wished to protect themselves had to obtain a gun illegally unless it was for hunting or “sport.” The legal availability of handguns and semi-automatic rifles hasn’t existed in Iraq in decades, and although tightly regulated, is certainly a step in the right direction for the population of Iraq.
After the toppling of Saddam Hussein in 2003, illegal weapons trade flourished across the country. Looted guns from ransacked police stations and military bases were sold in streets and public areas to residents seeking to protect themselves in a state that was largely lawless.
The authorities have since been battling to curb illegal weapon sales and the government has stepped up efforts to control gun ownership through regulation.
The latest initiative came into force this summer and allows citizens to own and carry handguns, semi-automatic rifles and other assault weapons after obtaining official authorization and an identity card that also details the individual’s weapons.
Previously, gun sales were restricted to firearms for hunting and sport.
So if you get your “papers,” you can legally tote a firearm for self-defense. A bit onerous, but better than before.
Hamza Maher opened his new gun shop in Karrada after receiving official approval from the Interior Ministry and says there has been growing demand for his wares.
‘The reason for buying is self-defense, and it’s safer for citizens to buy a weapon from an authorized store instead of from an unknown source.’
Handgun prices in his shop range from $1,000 to $4,000 and AKs range from $400 to $2,000.
The article itself is apparently penned by someone ignorant of (or biased in the use of) firearms terminology, as the term “assault weapon” is used incorrectly throughout. But the main message is that Iraqis who can afford to arm themselves can now be safer.
Haider al-Suhail, a tribal sheikh from Baghdad, welcomed the legalization of gun stores.
‘Yes, it will decrease crime,’ he said on a visit to Maher’s shop to buy assault rifles for his ranch guards. ‘The criminal who plans to attack others will understand that he will pay heavy price.’
How ironic that Iraq is moving to make their citizens safer, even as idiotic Americans campaign to disarm their fellow countrymen.