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Better Late Then Never

Badrya Darwish

Badrya Darwish

It’s nice that someone in the parliament, at last, thought about the issue of unlicensed firearms in the hands of the public. The reality is that there are thousands of unlicensed firearms in Kuwait and some of them are incredibly dangerous and high tech, not just a simple rifles or pistols. Because many people after the invasion of Kuwait unfortunately collected serious weapons left by the fleeing Iraqi army and kept them for their personal use or whatever.

It was the government’s chance at that time to be serious about collecting all those arms. I recall that the Ministry of Interior issued warnings and asked the public to hand over these illicit weapons, but I think it was mostly forgotten and many weapons remained.

Now the parliament has legalized search and seizure for the police to tackle this issue and also increased the jail terms and fines for those caught with unlicensed arms. I know it’s a little late, but as they say, better late than never.

Actually, the government already had the right to search and seize illegal weapons with a warrant signed by the public prosecutor, who works under the umbrella of the Justice Ministry. So I’m not sure what’s new in the bill.

While I support the initiative, I don’t think another bill is the solution. The problem in Kuwait is not a lack of laws and regulations.

Our beautiful constitution covers most issues and is fair and just. But the question is of implementation. This is where the problem in Kuwait is, in every department, in every ministry, in every sector and in every aspect. There is not equitable and fair implantation of the rules.

So what the parliament should discuss - instead of issuing new laws - is finding ways to implement the existing ones. First of all abolish what’s called wasta in Kuwait. All should be treated the same under the law. Secondly, discipline is needed in every corner of Kuwait.

Then, if we reach that point, the parliament can start thinking of issues to enhance quality of life rather than digging for old ones.

By Badrya Darwish

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This article was published on 28/01/2015