Wedding firing triggers tragedy



Muscat: Wedding party celebrations at Al Alya village in Wadi Bani Kharous of the wilayat of Maa'wel turned into a funeral when a traditional gun used by a guest to fire celebratory shots exploded, injuring him fatally. The man later succumbed to his injuries in a hospital.

Residents said the gun could have become over-heated due to continuous shots being fired into the air as the steel part of the weapon exploded. The metal fragment directly hit the victim's neck, resulting in a vein rupture and massive bleeding, the residents added.

The victim was immediately rushed to Rustaq Hospital but he died on Sunday due to the severe injuries. Despite repeated warnings issued by the Royal Oman Police (ROP) not to use conventional weapons during weddings or other occasions, since such guns pose a danger, and despite repeated reports of similar casualties, many people continue to break the law. Two people were murdered this year by culprits using such common handguns.

Legal provisions
According to the ROP, anyone failing to register a weapon owned by him would be held legally accountable as per the Royal decrees. The ROP has legal powers to seize any unlicensed weapons, and may also raid people's houses for the purpose.
 
As per the law, possessing conventional guns and other weapons without holding a licence provided by the ROP is illegal and anyone found violating this law could be fined OMR100, besides having the weapons confiscated.

Observers say that more awareness programmes are needed nationwide to educate the people about the dangers that such handguns pose. Ironically, shops selling conventional weapons still continue to make huge profits in the absence of any stringent control.

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