Ministry begins work on legal regulation over individual gun ownership

Ministry begins work on legal regulation over individual gun ownership

Bülent Sarıoğlu – ANKARA
Ministry begins work on legal regulation over individual gun ownership

The ministry has begun work on a legal regulation over the online sale of weapons amid discussions about individual gun ownership, Transport, Maritime and Communications Minister Ahmet Arslan said on Nov. 8.

“We are researching this issue. We will share the details of the regulation when it becomes clear,” Arslan said.

Some guns, which are included in the scope of hunting rifles and air guns, can be converted to heavy machine guns for military use, with the support of hi-tech, additional chargers and laser systems.

These kinds of guns are often marketed in advertising campaigns along with the promotion of weapon materials and do not require a license for online purchases.

For example, a high-calibrated gun with 12 chargers, which is included in the scope of hunting rifle, can be bought from the internet and can be delivered to one’s home in the same day.

Meanwhile, the Interior Justice Ministry and the Transport, Maritime and Communications Ministry have begun work over a ban on internet weapons sales.

The access ban was imposed for more than 100 websites that sell weapons over the internet and a legal process against website owners has been launched.

The move comes after police raided 41 addresses in the Central Anatolian province of Konya after a tip-off about illegally produced pump rifles.

Thirty suspects were detained in the raids but were later released after being handed administrative fines.

According to the current law updated in 2017, online weapons dealers are fined 500 Turkish Liras for each rifle and illegal weapons producers are tried and sentenced between one and three years in jail.

A total of 868 unlicensed guns, including 468 pistols and 400 rifles, were seized in the last four months by Turkish police. Some 377 blank cartridge pistols and 11,000 bullets were also seized as part of the same process.

Meanwhile, the General Directorate of Security has begun cooperating with Turkey’s media watchdog, the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK), against unlicensed gun sales.

Five satellite TV channels airing hunting rifle advertisements have been suspended from broadcasting.

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), however, has offered a law proposal over individual gun ownership.

According to the law proposal offered by CHP lawmaker Ceyhun İrgil, unlicensed gun producers and dealers will be fined between 20,000 and 200,000 liras.

On Nov. 7, Mustafa Baloğlu, the spokesperson of the parliament’s interior affairs commission, urged for the requirement of criteria in order to possess a gun and for background checks on gun owners to be done more carefully.

“If parents who wish to adopt children are being closely scrutinized, then giving out gun licenses should also be done very carefully,” said Baloğlu.

People who sell guns via social media platforms or websites will be fined 8,000 liras, according to the law proposal.

Between 2006 and 2015, 67,960 people were wounded by gunfire, according to data gathered from a forensic institute by Republican People’s Party (CHP) lawmaker Gamze Akkuş İlgezdi.

Each year, an average of 6,796 people are wounded by guns and 18 people are injured on a daily basis. In the last 10 years, 15,625 people were killed by guns in Turkey.