CAIRO: A lawsuit challenging a 2012 law sentencing owners of unlicensed weapons to life in prison was rejected by the Constitutional Court Sunday, reported Youm7.
In January 2012, the then-ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) issued the amendment to the Firearms Commerce Law to help end the illegal proliferation of weapons after the January 25 Revolution.
Under the amendment, possessors of unlicensed machine guns, explosives and automatic assault rifles face life imprisonment, and shorter terms for those with less deadly weapons. The court ruled Sunday the amendment was constitutional, and the lawsuit was without merit.
In September, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi issued another amendment to the firearms law, declaring imported firearms must be approved by the Ministry of Defense. The Ministry of Interior, meanwhile, remains the only entity allowed to issue and withdraw gun licenses.
Licit and illicit guns held by civilians in Egypt were estimated at 1.9 million in 2007, with 3.5 firearms per 100 people. Egypt ranks 115 out of 178 countries in terms of private gun ownership, according to Gun Policy, a website managed by the University of Sydney’s School of Public Health in Australia.
However, in terms of weapons owned by national law enforcement agencies, Egypt ranks quite high. With 900,000 law enforcement guns, Egypt is fifth on the list following China, India, Russia and the U.S., according to 2012 figures.