Only around 3,150 gun owners in the Kurdistan Region have permits for their firearms, according to the interior ministry which issues licenses to gun owners across the Kurdistan Region in coordination with provincial authorities. There are no official data about the number of guns or people who carry them, but the ministry says the large majority of gun owners have no permission for their firearms. “The provincial authorities have the legal powers to issue licenses for applicants who fulfill certain criteria including medical reports that show they have no mental illnesses”, said Sami Jalal at the interior ministry. According to Jala the ministry has struggled to prevent unauthorized gun ownership, as the provincial and local authorities often have access to more accurate information about the background of the applicants. Those who apply for gun licenses are obliged to obtain recommendations from a doctor, the police and the security agencies. They also must be 18 years of age or older and with no record of past misconduct. At least 70 people were detained last week in Erbil after a police raid targeted unlicensed gun owners, most of whom were released on bail or after paying fines. Kurdistan Region laws have heavy penalties for unlicensed gun owners including relatively long jail sentences — up to one year in prison in addition to paying fees.