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Gun Politics in North Syria (Right to Bear Arms)

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Gun politics in North Syria (Arabic: السياسة بندقية في شمال سوريا, French: Contrôle des armes à feu en Syrie du Nord) refer to the legislation regarding civilian ownership of firearms in the Kingdom of North Syria. North Syria contains a very strict gun control system. North Syria's gun laws contain a mix of influence from Canadian and Japanese gun laws.

Modern-day North Syrian gun laws are outlined in the Firearms Ownership Law, or Bill NS-35 signed into law by King Fahad Abdul-Issam on April 1, 2015. This law repealed the Peaceful Citizens Act that banned all civilian ownership of firearms from 2011 up until 2015. Under this new law, North Syrian citizens are allowed to own select and government-approved firearms for the lawful purposes of hunting, target-shooting and self defense. Select semi-automatic assault rifles are legal to own, but can only be used for target shooting. Citizens must apply for a Civilian Firearms License (CFL) and go through a stringent process.

High-powered replica firearms are also controlled and registered. All firearms, including replica firearms are regulated by the Firearms and Projectiles Department of the Royal National Police.

It should be noted that a "Replica Firearm" is not regarded per normal use of the word in North Syria. A "Replica Firearm" in North Syria is a recreation of any vintage historical weapon that may be too rare to acquire. Replica firearms are legal for museum displays. What other people would normally refer to as a "replica firearm" would be known as an "Imitation Firearm" and these would include air guns, BB guns, pellet and paintball guns. 

History of gun control 

Firearms before the Peaceful Citizens Act

Prior to the banning of guns in North Syria, almost all citizens had kept an assault rifle in their homes. Assyrian and Armenian Christians often used armed militia men to guard their churches from Islamic militants - and often against members of the North Syrian Coalition. As many as 11 million people were said to have owned a firearm. 

Fahad Abdul-Issam promised that "all citizens" of the new Kingdom, whether they be Shi'ite, Sunni, Christian, Jewish or Druze would be granted with the God-given to "protect themselves from all harm, from all tyranny". This had hinted that citizens were allowed to keep their existing firearms.

Guns were an essential part of life in northern Syria. They were used as part of celebratory shooting during weddings, whether it be a Muslim, Christian, Jewish or Druze. They were also used for hunting. 

Peaceful Citizens Act

When North Syria was recognized in 2012, King Fahad Abdul-Issam abandoned his earlier promise, and stated he needed to promote a culture of peace in North Syria, and not one of violence. His daughter,
Gun confiscation

Guns confiscated being destroyed

Princess Razia bint Fahad Abdul-Issam, along with many other North Syrian women were allowed to voice their opinions as King Fahad Abdul-Issam has been known to champion women's rights. Many of them suggested gun confiscation was necessary to prevent more civil war and violence.

On November 3, 2013, before the Islamic New Year, King Fahad Abdul-Issam passed the Peaceful Citizens Act (Arabic: قانون المواطنين المسالمين, French: Loi de Paisibles Citoyens) which not only encouraged integration with the West, but also that of gun and weapons confiscation in order to promote a culture of peace in the new Kingdom. He also expressed the right to life as a reason. 

In a statement, Abdul-Issam said, "Everybody has the right to live in a safe and peaceful society, this is a universal right to life. Therefore, we must disarm the public to ensure this safety and promote a culture of peace, safety and well-being."

The North Syrian Army, formed out of the North Syrian Coalition announced that they would start confiscations after the Islamic New Year. On November 7, the confiscations started. Princess Razia bint Fahad, led the Education Against Violence (Arabic: التعليم ضد العنف) a nationwide program meant to encourage citizens to surrender their guns, swords and knives and discourage them from owning one or attempting to reverse the act.

About a total of 10,031,311 guns were confiscated, mostly AK-47s and a couple thousands of M4-A1s and almost 20,313,000 swords. Any North Syrian Coalition member that chose not to became part of the new Kingdom's armed forces (an option made upon the Kingdom's formation), were required to surrender their guns as well.

Badir bin Salman al-Jabbar, the Chief-General of the Royal National Police stated, "North Syria is a country of peace. We do not need vigilantes, the police and the government will protect the people. We do not appreciate vigilantism here. Ordinary citizens have no use for guns, period." 

In the wake of the Valentines Day shooting of 2015, in which converted airsoft guns were used, the North Syrian Parliament approved Bill NS-34 which banned all Cometa air products from the Kingdom. 

New Firearms Ownership Law

On February 16, 2015, Muhsin el-Hussein proposed a new law that would lift the ban on gun ownership, and allow a moderate gun control system where citizens are allowed to own guns. The bill failed to pass the first hearing through the Lower Court. It also received heavy negative feedback from public. Princess Razia accused Muhsin el-Hussein of embracing a culture of violence, stating that such a law would bring the Kingdom back to Bashar al-Assad's days.  On March 14, 2015 after a series of more Islamic insurgencies, Prime Minister Muhsin el-Hussein re-proposed the bill, which passed through a Lower Court hearing. Muhsin stated that confiscating guns from law-abiding citizens has done nothing to stop terrorists who have contempt for any law passed by Parliament. This would allow citizens to own a government-licensed firearm for self-defense - known as Bill NS-35 or the Firearms Ownership Law. While members of the Upper Court attacked the proposal with no hopes of it getting passed, King Fahad stated that he was willing to listen to what the Lower Court had to say. Crown Princess Razia attacked the Lower Court, stating that the bill had "no chance". It passed through the Lower Court, and the Upper Court (by an extremely slight margin) and eventually reached the King to decide himself. On April 1, 2015, King Fahad signed Bill NS-35 into law, initially ending the four-year gun ban of the Peaceful Citizens Act. That had initially shocked the North Syrian public as a whole, and Crown Princess Razia and Queen Consort Turkia stated that they were so upset, that they left the King to stay at a Turkish hotel in Ras al-'Ayn. However, the reconciled in Latakkia. After the law was made legal however, firearms remained illegal, simply because no firearms had been sold in stores yet. Afterwards, King Fahad, Prime Minister Muhsin el-Hussein, Badir Amal of the North Syrian Shooting Sports Association and the Royal National Police met in Aleppo to discuss the availability of firearms. It was decided that shotguns, regular rifles and handguns will be legal, and select assault rifles are also legal but with heavy restrictions. Assault rifles can only be used for sport shooting at a range, and not for self-defense. Licensing laws are still to be discussed. According to a poll done by the RNP, 55% of North Syrian citizens approve of Bill NS-35, with 40% against it, and 5% indifferent to it. Gun control activists in North Syria claimed that the voting was rigged by pro-firearms activists. 

Military policies

Along with the gun confiscation, the military of North Syria updated their weapons, getting rid of Soviet-era weaponry and using western weapons from the United States, United Kingdom and France. Members of the military and police units had to surrender their existing weapons in exchange for the new weapons from the United States. 

Law enforcement

The passage of Bill NS-35 also enabled governorates, towns and cities to establish independent police forces, though they must still be government-approved and registered. The establishment of non-government registered groups is illegal, as it is classified as militancy, which is illegal in North Syria. Everybody and anybody involved with any such groups must attend a law enforcement academy - which, until the passage of Bill NS-35, were the only places that contain shooting ranges for real guns and even for the majority of training, police recruits used dummy ammunition or high-powered pellet guns.

Before the passage of Bill NS-35, armed security personnel was considered the only form of an armed civilian in North Syria or anything close to it during the days of the gun ban. Members of security agencies in the country were not guaranteed (or encouraged) to hold firearms, the only security personnel armed with firearms via government support are those of the Royal Central Bank, an RNP-owned academy, hospitals and select schools.

Any security personnel organization outside of those four wishing to attain firearms for their members to use must fill out an Firearms Authorization Form. The head of the organization must state what he or she wishes to guard. Afterwards, they are to attend a law enforcement academy and take firearms training courses. The RNP will then issue the organization an Approval for Firearms Usage (AFU). The person will be given government-issued lockers to store the firearms, once the head of such an organization provides a room that is approved by the RNP for firearms storage. Rooms to be used for firearms storage cannot be accessible to anybody outside of security personnel. It must be locked at all times.

Unlike off-duty police and soldiers, off-duty security personnel cannot carry their firearms in public without a Carry Authorization and it is up to the discretion of the security head whether to permit its members to do so. 

Off-duty and post-service laws

Retired veterans and former police members

After soldiers and police members have completed their service, they are required to return and surrender their firearms so they can be used by the military and/or police to issue to newcomers and enlistments. However, veterans are allowed to obtain a Veteran License for firearms, or a License to Own for imitation weapons (see below) without having to submit a background check. Veterans also receive a national mandatory 40% discount on firearms purchases.

Off-duty police and soldiers

Members of the armed forces and any law enforcement members that are off-duty must attain a License to Carry (Arabic: رخصة حمل) to be able to carry their firearms in the public. These licenses are not granted to members, they must separately acquire them at an army recruiting station or a police station. Otherwise, weapons are required to be stored in lockers while off-duty. 

Legal firearms

Bill NS-35 specifically outlined which firearms are legal for North Syrian citizens to purchase. North Syrians are allowed to purchase shotguns, bolt-actions and handguns for the purpose of target-shooting, hunting and self-defense. Of the shotguns that are legal, they are smooth-bore, pump-action, lever-actions and any other shotgun that is not a sawed-off shotgun (illegal). 

A select-few semi-automatic assault rifles are legal for North Syrians, such as the Swiss Arms Classic Green Carbine, M1 Carbine, M14 rifle and AR-15s. AK-47s remain illegal. Assault rifles can only be used for sport-shooting. 

Fully-automatic weapons, sawed-off shotguns, sub-machine guns and silenced guns are illegal to North Syrian citizens .

Licensing and requirements

A Civilian Firearms License is required to buy firearms, ammunition, firearms accessories and to apply for any other type of firearms license. 

Civilian Firearms License

A Civilian Firearms License (Arabic: الأسلحة النارية الترخيص المدنيين. French: Civile des armes à feu licence) or CFU is required for citizens to purchase firearms and ammunition or to apply for any other firearms permits or licenses. Under Bill NS-35, in order to apply for a CFU, a person must fill out a form, either through a police station, military base, or the RNP's website. The requirements for a CFU were based on those required for a Type 2 Permit to Own for Imitation Firearms (see below) and were influenced by a mix of Canadian and Japanese gun laws. An applicant must go through a thorough background check, a physical and a written test. The person must also swear an oath both on video, and sign a paper stating that he/she will never use the weapon for harm and only for lawful purposes. Applicants require that of a minimum of three family members as points of references, and each reference is to be interviewed by a member of an FPD Chief Officer. Chief Officers can ask for more references if they feel. Then the person must take a complete Firearms Safety Course, which includes both written courses and safety training. This can be done via an RNP-approved Firearms Safety Instructor, at a law enforcement academy or military academy. There is a 20-day waiting period. This waiting period can actually be shortened depending on a Chief Officer's discretion, however 20 days is the mandatory maximum. 

Veterans and retired police officers and security personnel are given a "shall-issue" status, and are immediately issued the licenses upon request, having already gone through all the requirements in their careers. Veterans, retired police officers and security personnel must show proof of their service upon request. Owners of a Type 2 Permit to Own for Imitation Firearms, who obtained their permit prior to April 1, 2015, only to have to take the Firearms Safety Courses, having already gone through the background checks. However, applicants must notify a Chief Officer of the FPD of any new mental illnesses or criminal convictions. 

Hunting Permit

A Hunting Permit (Arabic: تصريح صيد, French: Permis de chasse) is required for North Syrians to use their guns for hunting. The only weapons allowed to be used for hunting include shotguns, bolt-actions, lever-actions and handguns. In order to apply for a Hunting Permit, a person must call a Chief Officer and present their CFU. Hunting Permits are a "shall-issue", and are issued on the same day. There is a small fee attached. 

Sporting Permit

A Sporting Permit (Arabic: تصريح الرياضية, French: Permis de Sportif) allows a person to take their guns to a shooting range for target-shooting. In order to apply for a Sporting Permit, a person must call a Chief Officer or visit a police station and present their CFU, and a Sporting Permit will be issued. Sporting Permits cost D55, equivalent to USD $5. 

License to Carry/Carry Authorization

A License Carry (Arabic: رخصة حمل) for off-duty and retired soldiers and police, or a Carry Authorization (Arabic: تحمل الترخيص) for civilians, allows a person to carry a loaded firearm with them in public for the use of self-defense. For off-duty soldiers and law enforcement members, this license is a "shall-issue", and they may carry both long guns or handguns - and the minimum age is 18, the same as it is for joining the military. However, for a civilian it is not. The minimum age for a civilian to carry a firearm is 21, and can only carry handguns. A civilian applying for a Carry Authorization must interview with a Chief Officer why he or she feels the need to carry a loaded firearm with them. Such reasons would be the nature of their profession. Those wishing permission to carry a long-gun must state a valid reason for doing so and must prove that they need it. Thought it's a "may-issue" status, most often-not requests will be approved. There is a one-day waiting period. 

Sporting Carbine License

A separate license is required to buy assault rifles. A Sporting Carbine License (Arabic: الرياضية كاربين الترخيص) or SCL allows a citizen to purchase semi-automatic assault rifles. An SCL can be attained by visiting a police station. A person must interview a police officer and state his reasoning for wanting an assault rifle. Target-shooting is the only legal reason allowed, as self-defense and hunting are not accepted as legal reasons for owning an assault rifle. There is a two-day waiting period, and a $5 fee. 

Storage and Transportation Laws

Firearms owners are required to keep unused weapons unloaded and locked in the home. They must be stored in a locker or a vault, made in-operable via a triggerlock and separated from ammunition, especially for assault rifles. Firearms being used for self-defense, however, do not have to be unloaded nor are they required to have a trigger lock. However, they must be made inaccessible to children. 

When transporting a firearm to a shooting range, the person must also notify a Chief Officer of the routes they plan on taking to the shooting range, and notify the officer of any stops they have made. This ruling was influenced from Canada's transportation laws. The firearm must be in an opaque container, made inoperable, locked and separated from ammunition. 

When hunting, the requirements are similar for sport-shooting. However, in areas where dangerous predators may be present, a person may keep a loaded firearm for personal safety. 

Firearms cannot be carried loaded in public, unless a person has a License to Carry or Carry Authorization.

Gun-Free Zones

Bill NS-35 also gives specifications were firearms are not allowed, unless members of soldiers and law enforcement include the Royal Complex, where only special privileged people are allowed to bring firearms. Palace Guards inspect all entrants for presence of firearms. Included are also schools, banks, college campuses or any type of government-owned premise. Firearms on private property is up to the individual owner. 

Registration Laws

Shotguns and bolt-action rifles do not need to be registered. However, handguns and assault rifles are required registration. Registration is free of charge, and is usually covered upon purchase as the firearms dealer usually takes care of forwarding the information to a Chief Officer of the FPD. 

Air rifles and imitation firearms laws

After the 2011 gun ban, the North Syrian government also started to restrict the ownership of air rifles, BB guns and
Airsoft store

an air-soft and BB store in Rasafeh

such toys that may resemble a firearm. These are known as "Imitation Firearms" in North Syria. The modern policy on imitation firearms is stated in Bill NS-35, which relaxed many of the stringent laws of the Peaceful Citizens Act.

Like real firearms, all imitation firearms are also regulated by the FPD.

The North Syrian government also enacted many educational programs meant to discourage citizens from buying "toys of terror", and showing people the dangers of owning an air gun, Airsoft gun, BB gun and to convince people the type of violence it encourages. However, gun rights activists Badir Amal has recently been on a mission of fighting these negative stigmas attached.

Any person wishing to purchase high-powered imitation firearms must take minor mental examinations, went through a minor background check and one reference from family members stating that he/she is sane enough to carry it. 

After that, either a Type 1 Permit to Own or Type 2 Permit to Own (depending on what kind of gun) or a License to Own would be issued to the applicant in which the person can then visit a sporting store selling imitation firearms and make a purchase. All sales and transactions were strictly recorded, and sent to the police units who then forward the information to the FPD. People are also required to give the exact location and name of the store they bought their gun from. However on April 1, these records were destroyed via a mandatory order from the government as a result of the Firearms Ownership Law.

A Permit to Own would allow an owner to have their BB gun or Airsoft in their house as well as to a shooting range - the only place an Airsoft or BB gun is ever allowed outside of the home.

Owners of imitation firearms are also subject to stringent storage laws (see below).

Because Airsoft guns contain an orange tip, they are not required to be concealed. However, because of BB and pellet guns do not, they are also required to be locked in a container because they can be mistaken for an actual firearm, and it is illegal anyways for non-license holders to have an imitation firearm anywhere outside the range.

Gun classifications

Different types of imitation firearms are classified into two groups, Type 1 and Type 2. Weapons in these groups contain different storage laws.

Type 1 Class

Type 1 imitation firearms include Airsoft guns that either spring-loaded or electric-powered, and made of plastic and contain an orange tip at the barrel and fire only plastic pellets. This is often known as the "light class". 

Type 2 Class

Type 2 imitation firearms includes air guns, BB guns, pellet guns, paintball guns and Airsoft weapons that are made of metal and gas-powered. Any high-capacity and gas-powered weapon belongs to a Type 2, regardless of whether it is plastic or metal or contains an orange tip or not. Type 2 also fires metal pellets, metal BBs and paintballs. This is often known as the "Heavy Class". 

License classifications

Different types of imitation firearms require different licenses, and each license may take longer than others to obtain. 

Type 1 Permit to Own

A Type 1 Permit to Own (Arabic: نوع واحد تصريح لعون) allows an applicant to purchase and own Airsoft weapons that are spring or electric-operated plastic Airsoft guns that contain an orange tip at the end. When transporting the Airsoft gun to a range, it is not required that the gun be hidden or out of sight, and must be separated from the ammunition regardless of whether is visible or not.

Holders of a Type 1 Permit to Own can only purchase plastic spherical ammunition, and may not purchase metal pellets or paintball ammunition. They can only shoot their Airsoft guns at a shooting range and no place else.

Under the new laws set forth by Bill NS-35, Type 1 Permits are a "shall-issue" and no background checks are required. 

Type 2 Permit to Own

A Type 2 Permit to Own (Arabic: النوع الثاني تصريح لعون) takes a process, and a 7-day mandatory waiting period is implemented. A Type 2 Permit to Own allows an applicant to purchase metal and gas-powered Airsoft guns, BB guns, pellet guns and paintball guns as well as metal pellets.

Like the Type 1 Permit, holders of the Type 2 Permit may only shoot their imitation weapons or paintball guns at a shooting range and nowhere else.

A person filing for a Type 2 Permit to Own must take an Airsoft shooting class, educational courses, a minor background check for any mental illnesses and a reference from one family member confirming that the person is sane enough to hold and operate an Airsoft gun. There is also a one-week period in between.

Those who have completed the requirements for a Type 2 permit can attain Type 1 permits upon request, it is for this reason that most Type 2 holders also hold a Type 1 permit. This type of ruling was made by the RNP after declaring that people should not be prosecuted for owning imitation weapons from a lower class than what they are permitted to have.

License to Own 

A License to Own (Arabic: ترخيص لامتلاك) grants citizens much more liberties with their imitation weapons or paintball guns than two previously mentioned permits. This license allows an applicant to own both Type 1 and Type 2 imitation firearms and purchase ammunition and pellets for both classes. A License to Own is most commonly issued automatically to veterans and former members of the North Syrian Coalition, North Syrian Army or retired police members among other government benefits. Veterans are required to show proof of their service, and a License to Own is automatically issued. 

A License to Own also allows applicants to use and shoot their imitation weapons in their homes as well as in designated empty spaces in the public. They are also allowed to shoot their weapons at the household of another holder of this license, as long as they have permission.

Owners of this type of license are also allowed to sell, buy and trade their imitation weapons with other holders. Whereas holders of Type 1 and Type 2 Permits may only sell, buy and/or trade their weapons with a licensed dealer at the store. 

North Syrian citizens can apply for a License to Own, and this license contains the most stringent application process therefore it is rarely issued to average citizens. Applicants must take training classes for both Type 1 and Type 2 imitation firearms. They must also swear on oath, on paper as well as to a police officer or member of the armed forces. Applicants must also have five family references, or close people in case five family members aren't available that the person is sane enough to operate a dangerous imitation firearm. The applicant is then interviewed by a member of the police, a soldier as well as a shooting range operator. Then a police officer is to interview with each of the applicant's references. There is then two-month waiting period. In that period, if the applicant commits a crime, the application will be automatically rejected and the applicant will have to wait 365 days until he can re-apply.

Rental Permits and Licenses

North Syrian citizens are allowed to rent imitation guns for sporting use via the acquiring of a Rental Permit (Arabic: تصريح الإيجار). These can be obtained either from a police station, or a sporting store that sells imitation sporting weapons. 

A Rental Permit allows a person to rent an imitation firearm from any store, up to that store's closing. Holders of Rental Permits are not allowed to store the weapon in their homes. The person renting must return the imitation firearm or paintball gun to the store owner before it closes or they will be charged with illegal possession of an imitation weapon, and imprisoned. Applicants are required to record the location of the range of where they plan to fire their rented weapon.

There are two types of licenses, either a Temporary Rental Permit or a License to Rent. Temporary permits usually are valid for up to 48 hours. Licenses to rent do not expire.

The requirements to applying for a Rental Permit vary from the source. Usually, applicants are only required to show identification, as well as a minor background check. Rental licenses often required the same steps as a Type 1 Permit to Own, though the License to Rent is issued the same day and there is no waiting period. Rental permits are also available to non-citizens, often for tourists wanting to use them for sporting purposes. Non-residents must fill out a different application than citizens. 

Shooting competitions

Although North Syria has shooting competitions for Airsoft, BB, pellet gun and paintball owners it is highly discouraged. Also, team names are required by law to be simple (ex. Team A, Team B, Team 1, Team 2) and cannot bear any name of any meaning. King Abdul-Issam claims that it may encourage youth to establish militant groups.

Registration laws

Before Bill NS-35 was passed, all Airsoft guns, BB guns, pellet guns and paintball guns were required to be registered with the police. However, Type 1 firearms no longer require registration, and over 893,999 records for Type 1 owners were destroyed. Type 2 weapons however still require registration. This process often doesn't inflict anymore hassle since it is usually done upon purchase, as the seller is required by law to record the transaction, along with the exact type and model of firearm and forward it to the police. This covers the registration of the weapon. The exact model and manufacturer must be recorded. However, these registration laws are implemented for transactions done outside a store - between holders of a License to Own (who are the only ones legally allowed to buy, sell or trade weapons outside a store). These people would then have to re-register their weapons with the police due to the change of owners. Registration is free and there are no fees.

Storage and transportation laws

Ever since the passage of Bill NS-35, there are no longer storage laws that apply for imitation firearms inside the home. When in a vehicle though, the weapon must be out of sight. All entrants into the shooting range are carded, and their weapons are checked. Visitors to a shooting range cannot load their weapon outside the shooting area. 

Time Rules and Curfews for Shooting

Owners of imitation firearms or paintball guns are not allowed to shoot during times of Islamic prayer during the day since it "disturbs the peace". Fatwahs will be issued against owners who fail to comply with this ruling. All shooting ranges operated by Muslims are required to be non-operation during the daytime on the Islamic month of Ramadan. 

There are also curfews for shooters. Holders of Licenses to Own are not allowed to operate their imitation firearms or paintball guns anytime after 10:00 PM; and most shops close around 9:30 PM. 

Statistics

Out of a population of 11,331,311 people, there are approximately 1,000,222 legally licensed or permitted imitation firearms owners. According to a 2014 statistic, there were 2,111,031 legally registered imitation firearms. But a 2015 study later reported that there could be as much as 4 million since Type 1 registration is no longer required. Although despite the tendency of imitations firearms owners to be part of the middle or upper class - almost none of these belong to the royal classes. Abdul-Issam stated that he, and his family do not permit their loved ones to be influenced by a culture of violence.

Most of these imitation firearms owners are businessmen and/or their children.

Gun rights organizations

Many imitation firearms owners state that they feel persecuted by not only North Syria's over-stringent laws over imitation firearms and paintball guns, but also to that of the social stigma attached to owners of imitation weapons and/or paintball guns.

The North Syrian Shooting Sports Association (NSSSA) is the main gun rights organization in the country, found in the wake of the Peaceful Citizens Act as an Airsoft and paintball rights organization. Its owner and founder, Badir Amal claimed that North Syria's laws on imitation guns and paintball are too strict, costly, pointless and malignant and will do nothing to curve terrorism. Amal, along with Prime Minister Muhsin el-Hussein were instrumental in re-legalizing of firearms. The NSSSA is a member of the International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights.

He stated, "Shooting has nothing to do with terrorism, just like being Muslim. The requirement to register air guns and paintball was kind of enough. Then the requirement to go through a background check and what would normally be required for an actual firearm was way across the line. But now, to say that all of us, innocent and law-abiding owners are part of a culture of violence is just unacceptable. We like to shoot paper targets and empty cans as a means of recreation, not people. So I don't see the correlation."

Jaafar Abdul-Halim, the owner of an airsoft store said, "It is one thing to pass laws on what we consider toys. They're not real, they can only kill somebody with beyond-maximum effort. Cars have killed more people than real guns, and certainly more than toy guns. But to classify us who enjoy sporting with air, airsoft or paintball as terrorists is another thing, and it is definitely unacceptable."

The Firearms and Projectiles Department

The Firearms and Projectiles Department, also known as the FPD is the branch of the Royal National Police that regulates and oversees all activities regarding firearms and imitation firearms from sales to transportation to even repairs or destruction of surrendered or confiscated firearms or imitation firearms. 

The FDP tracks the history of all guns used by army and law enforcement, recording all users of a certain weapon and every incident in which that weapon was used.

The FDP often works hand in hand with the RNP's Center for Criminal Investigation (CCI) when dealing with incidents involving illegal guns used by terrorists or criminals.

Licenses and permits as well as records for imitation firearms owners are also handled by the FPD.

Sword and knife legislation

Swords and knives received the same type of confiscations and stringent laws as did guns during the Peaceful Citizens Act. Section 4 of the Peaceful Citizens Act stated the regards to private ownership of blade-based weapons.

It read, "Never shall a citizen of North Syria bear a long-blade that is capable of decapitating body parts. The peaceful citizen must not bear long swords, short swords or combat knives of any sort. Swords and combat knives are only to be the hands of the military, law enforcement members and those who are worthy and trained to own them." 

Modern-day knife legislation is outlined in Section 4 of Bill NS-35.

Section 4 states, "Citizens of the Kingdom may acquire a blade, for the lawful uses of collecting, hunting, cultural purposes, Halal or Kosher butchering and self-defense. Any other purposes should be stated with a police officer to confirm the legality of ownership.

The types of blades legal to North Syrian citizens include daggers, Bowie knives, janbiyas (an Arabian short-sword from Yemen), pocket knives, swords or anything that isn't a switch-blade or a ballistic knife. 

Blade ownership also requires licensing, though the process is free of charge. Applicants must apply for a Blade Ownership Identification (Arabic: شفرة المالك التعريف) or a BOID card. They must simply submit a total of three points of references trusting them to own blades. 

Antiques and Replicas

There is only one exception to who can obtain firearms, and those are museum owners and operators. In this case, a License to Display is issued which allows museum owners to acquire firearms only for display.

The firearm must have its trigger removed by a member of the police or the armed forces, the weapon rendered useless. Then it can be displayed for the public.

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