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Jordanians polarized by effort to restrict firearms

The Jordanian legislature is considering amendments to limit the possession of firearms to curtail the spread of illegal weapons and crime.

The Jordanian government is pushing to amend a 67-year-old law regulating the possession of firearms in the kingdom. If the amendments pass, Jordanians would have six months to hand over unlicensed handguns, automatic and semi-automatic firearms or face heavy penalties. The proposed amendments would also restrict the issuance of new licenses and cancel permits to carry guns. The legislation to replace the current 1952 law is being debated in an extraordinary session of parliament that began July 21.

On July 8, Interior Minister Salameh Hamad had denied a July 1 statement attributed to him in which he allegedly told the Lower House’s Legal Committee that there are 10 million firearms in the kingdom. He did, however, confirm that 92% of all violent crimes committed in the country are carried out using unlicensed arms.

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