PM Barzani orders speedy reform of gun law following deadly shooting

Barzani said he hopes the process will be finalized by the end of the year. 
author_image Kurdistan 24
Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani (center) speaks to reporters during the HITEX tech exhibition in Erbil, June 29, 2022 (Photo: Kurdistan 24)
Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani (center) speaks to reporters during the HITEX tech exhibition in Erbil, June 29, 2022 (Photo: Kurdistan 24)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani on Wednesday said he has directed security authorities to ramp up efforts to reform the gun law and digitalize the weapon registration process.

During a visit to a tech exhibition in the capital Erbil, Barzani spoke to reporters about the recent developments in the Kurdistan Region, including Tuesday’s murder of two university professors by a dismissed student. 

He described the incident as a “big catastrophe” for the Kurdistan Region and the academic field, adding that he has directed the Ministry of Interior to speed up efforts to digitalize gun registration procedures so the government can more efficiently clamp down on unregistered weapons. 

Barzani said he hopes the process will be finalized by the end of the year. 

The killing of two university professors in Erbil on Tuesday sparked a public outcry over gun ownership. Security forces arrested the suspect shortly after the incident. 

The prime minister said he hopes the judiciary will punish the suspect “in the harshest terms”. 

Rocket attacks on Kurdistan Region

There has been a recent uptick in rocket and drone attacks targeting the Kurdistan Region. 

The Kurdistan Region’s Khor Mor gas field came under three successive rocket attacks in less than a week. The Katyusha rockets did not cause any casualties, material damage, or disruptions to gas production. 

Barzani said his government is in contact with Baghdad about the attacks perpetrated by “outlaw people”, adding that Erbil and Baghdad will cooperate to stop them.

According to officials and experts, most of the attacks have been launched from a "security vacuum" in the disputed territories between Erbil and Baghdad.

Prime Minister Barzani said that the Iraqi government has not yet fulfilled its responsibility to form a joint Iraqi Army-Peshmerga brigade that is vital for preventing such attacks in the future.

In a recent meeting, top Iraqi security officials said the Iraqi government has not yet dedicated a budget for the joint brigade, he added.

The 2022 HITEX exhibition began in Erbil on Monday. Numerous local and international companies are attending and showcasing their products and services.

Barzani hailed the fair and said his government fully supports the youth initiatives. 

“I am very hopeful for the future of this country because of the talent I see in our youth,” he told reporters.