The military has highly criticized the law draft on weapons that would transfer the purchasing power for military weapons away from the Defense Ministry.
The draft, if passed, would transfer the military weapons purchase authority from the Defense Ministry to the ministries of Industry and Internal Affairs. Also, gun licenses for military personnel would be granted by governors instead of the military itself, according to the bill, which was prepared and submitted to Parliament in July, discussed by the Internal Affairs Commission on Dec. 9 and then transferred to a sub-commission led by Selami Uzun, Sivas deputy from the Justice and Development Party, or AKP.
According to a special news feature from İbrahim Gündüz, broadcasted on Kanal D TV news, the Office of the Chief of General Staff expressed their worries about the law draft to the sub-commission with a memo. â€œThe importing of military weapons and equipment will be out of control if this law passes,â€ reads the memo, which pointed out that the law draft was prepared for civilian purposes but covers military weapons. The Office of the Chief of General Staff demanded to keep the authority for granting gun licenses to its personnel, and in its memo said: â€œThe arrangements on military weapons should be left outside the scope of this draft.â€ The Office of the Chief of General Staff also presented their worries on the police and the National Intelligence Agency, or MİT, being granted the authority to import military weaponry.
The present law allows the importation and exportation of military weapons by the permit of the Defense Ministry while the records are kept at the Office of the Chief of General Staff. However, the draft for the new law would let the Internal Affairs Ministry or the Industry and Commerce Ministry import military weapons for the police and the MİT. The Office of the Chief of General Staffâ€™s memo reads: â€œThe arrangement has let the MİT and general law enforcement agencies import weapons of military qualities â€¦ In the events of the law draft passing, the importation of military weapons would not be monitored exclusively and would be out of control.â€
The present law keeps military personnel outside governorsâ€™ authority for issuing gun licenses. The new law on gun control would make the military personnel apply to a governor for permission and approval to bear weapons like everybody else. The military is against this reform saying that it would cause operational difficulties.