Firearms and drug laws to be strictly enforced after daycare centre massacre

After the recent mass shooting of a daycare centre in Nong Bua Lamphu province, Thailand’s PM says laws on guns and listed narcotics will be strictly enforced. The move comes as the country grapples with the horrific massacre, which saw 36 people (including 24 children) die, with many calling for gun control. Prayut Chan-o-cha announced during a cabinet meeting which included the new national police chief. According to Bangkok Post, it was agreed that gun and ammunition laws would be enforced strictly with an emphasis on gun licences and permits for possessing and carrying firearms.

Cabinet members and law enforcement authorities agreed that permits to carry a gun in public could be revoked if the carrier is found to have mental health, drug, or misconduct issues. Moreover, it was agreed to crack down on illegal guns and sales of such guns online. Therefore, some laws and regulations on gun control are to be revised in keeping with the changing situation.

The meeting also discussed existing import and export control measures concerning chemicals that can be used to make drugs, along with drug trader suppression and asset seizures. It also mulled over the number of drugs required to charge someone with dealing. PM Prayut also noted that government officials who are found to be involved in illegal drugs will face heavy penalties. He said drug addicts will be treated and rehabilitated as well.

The government is also pushing for a new amnesty law that would allow people to hand in illegal firearms to the state without facing prosecution. Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda says the law must be passed to allow the handing in of illegal firearms.

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“There are numerous illegal firearms. We will miss the target [of controlling illegal firearms] if we are strict only with those who have firearms licences. Those who possess illegal firearms and hand them to authorities will not face criminal prosecution. But if they don’t hand them in, they will face serious legal action.”

Those who apply for a firearm license must meet certain criteria and pass a mental health test to ensure they are not mentally disturbed. Community leaders and work supervisors must also certify the applicants as being mentally sound.

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Ann Carter

Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

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