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An Approval for Firearms Usage (Arabic: الموافقة على الأسلحة النارية الاستخدام, French: Approbation d'utilisation d'armes à feu) or AFU in short, is an authorization amd certification issued by North Syria's Royal National Police for local law enforcement and security groups in the Kingdom to be able to use firearms.
An AFU is considered the "closest" form to any type of civilian ownership of firearms, as well as the only form of non-RNP and non-military civilian use of firearms, as firearms are illegal to all North Syrian citizens. Even then, firearms are provided for by the government, and users can only use their firearms while on duty.
In order to attain an AFU certification, a person must be a legally recognized head or leader of a security or law enforcement group. Individual crime watch organizations are not considered part of this grouping, and therefore - are not legible for attain this type of certification.
The person must then submit an application to the the RNP's Firearms and Projectiles Department and have an interview with a Chief Officer explaining the reasoning for requesting firearms usage. After a thorough police sweep and inspections of the public facility, as well as training at any law enforcement or military academy, an AFU will be issued to that security program to train its members to use firearms. Armed security personnel are each given an RNP-issued a Firearms Permit.
According to the RNP's 2014 statistics, there are about 1002 AFU-approved security organizations, and approximately 993,994 holders of Firearms Permits. .
Requirements and Steps
The details in order to successfully acquire an AFU is stated in Section 8 of the Peaceful Citizens Act. In order to apply for an AFU, the person must be a head of a legitimate law enforcement or security personnel organization. This person must fill out a form, either through the RNP's Firearms and Projectiles Department website or through an RNP station.
Next, the person is to submit a form of consent to perform background checks and mental examinations for its members, and accept the fact that firearms "may" or "may not" be issued to that person depending on the mental condition.
The person is then to be interviewed by a Chief Officer of the Firearms and Projectiles Department, and describe the nature of the public facility that is being guarded.
The RNP has a list of qualified facilities, they include museums, hotels, motels, gas stations, schools, hospitals, shopping centers and malls, and retail stores engaging in valuable items. Any other facility that falls outside of that category won't be subject to "immediate disqualification", but rather further questioning with a 50/50 chance on being rejected or accepted. As of a 2014 ruling, theaters, restaurants, bars and gyms were included into that list.
That security organization must then be registered with the RNP. After the interview, the Chief Officer meets with other police officers, and makes a final say or decision. Should the person be approved, then they are required to go take firearms safety courses at any military or law enforcement academy, and graduate classes with a Firearms Safety Certificate. These classes are almost exclusive to soldiers and police.
After the Firearms Safety Certificate, a consent is given to the RNP for background checks and mental examinations for the organization's members.
The head of the organization then swears an oath on video the RNP that the organization will follow and enforce federal law and RNP rules.
After then, RNP officers will take an actual visit to the public facility. According to the RNP's rulings, a public facility must have a room that is generally hidden and inaccessible to anybody outside of the security personnel. If the public facility doesn't meet this ruling, it won't result in a disqualification, but rather a delay and requirement to build an RNP-approved room.
Proper RNP-approved locks will then be provided for the room. This room will be where the firearms are to be stored. When approved, the RNP will provide firearms lockers and government-approved locks.
Finally, the RNP will transport the firearms to the locker room. The government decides which handguns, long guns and even assault rifles may or may not be provided. While the process does involve many steps, it is often completed within 60 days at most.
The RNP has enacted a "zero-tolerance" policy for firearms violations. Violators will not only have their firearm confiscated, they are to be immediately removed from the security personnel. They will also be forbidden from joining any other AFU-approved organization.
The violator is then to receive 100 lashes.
Violations would include, carrying the firearm outside of the public facility being guarded. Opening fire on non-threats, pointing a firearm at non-threats, using a firearm during a heated personal dispute, attempting to bring the firearm at home in an attempt to take part in vigilantism and intending to use a firearm as a source of intimidation.
Rules regarding firearms usage
The RNP has a uniform set of rules for members of AFU-approved organizations. Though organizations can establish their own additional rules, and in any time of suspicion - refuse a member to hold a firearms. The RNP states that members using firearms is a "privilege", not a right.
According to RNP rules, a member of an AFU-approved organization must submit a thorough background check and mental examination. They must interview with the head of the security organization, with a Chief Officer present. Then they will be required at least four references stating that they can be trusted with a firearm. Then they must pass a Firearms Safety course and training via a law enforcement or military academy. Once completed, they will be allowed to use firearms, via the acquisition of an RNP-issued Firearms Permit (Arabic: الأسلحة النارية تصريح, French: armes à feu permis).