Firearm amnesty: Illegal Thai gun owners given 30 days to ‘trigger’ compliance

(Photo by Varuth Hirunyatheb) courtesy of Bangkok Post.

In an attempt to crackdown on illegal firearm possession, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin drafted a 30-day amnesty for gun owners without permits. They now have a month to turn in these firearms at any police station before stricter enforcement measures are applied.

This initiative was implemented yesterday, September 13, following a raid where a team of 100 officials targeted 21 locations in Nakhon Pathom. The operation resulted in the seizure of around 16 guns and 200 bullets from a network likened to organised crime.

This network has been connected to a recent shooting incident involving a highway police officer, which took place at a social gathering at the residence of Praween Chanklai, a local leader and construction business operator also known as Nok.

Government spokesperson, Chai Wacharonke, stated that Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Anutin Charnvirakul has been designated by Prime Minister Srettha to oversee a team specifically set up to execute the month-long amnesty, reported Bangkok Post.

Deputy Interior Minister Chada Thaiset, who had previously been tasked by Anutin to conduct a nationwide examination of local leaders with potential affiliations to powerful organised crime groups, confirmed that all provinces are actively pursuing this task.

This action was initiated by Anutin in reaction to the murder of Police Major Sivakorn Saibua, an officer of Highway Police Division 2, in Nakhon Pathom.

According to an anonymous police source, nine of the seized firearms were discovered in the home of Pol Sargeant Major Pisit Chiewpreecha. It is alleged that Praween had requested Pol. Maj. Sivakorn at the social gathering to grant Pisit a special promotional transfer, which Sivakorn declined, preceding his subsequent murder.

Deputy national police chief, Police General Surachate “Big Joke” Hakparn, disclosed that two vehicles suspected to be used by the assailants to escape the crime scene were located at a firm associated with Praween.

In related news, A group of six including a Mercedes-Benz driver were arrested after it was discovered that the vehicle contained illegal substances and an unregistered firearm. Read here to learn more.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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