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Thailand to adopt stricter firearm controls amid rise in gun-related crimes

Thailand is adopting stricter firearm controls amid a rise in gun-related crimes. The Cabinet is set to draft a firearms act which deems all privately owned firearms and ammunition must be registered with a government agency.

According to The Star, the draft act was approved on Tuesday. Government spokesperson Rachada Dhnadirek confirmed the news adding that the current measures in place are not effective enough.

Rachada says the current laws don’t allow police to inspect suspects who may be in possession of a firearm.

“Inspection can only be conducted if there is clear evidence that the suspect possesses firearms and plans to use them for the crime.”

The new draft would serve as an amendment to the 1947 Firearms Act, which requires all weapons and ammunition to be registered. She says the amended act would also aim to prevent the import of firearms, including military-grade weapons.

The current act stipulates:

Those who possess firearms and ammunition must register them within 180 days, or they will face legal prosecution

• Those who possess military-grade weapons or ammunition must hand them over at the nearest military unit within 180 days. The military will not give compensation for the weapons or ammunition and these surrendered items will immediately become state property.

• All details gathered on privately owned weapons will be made available in the investigation of crimes.

Just yesterday, a Royal Thai Police officer started firing gunshots randomly at Soi Jiramakorn in the Sai Mai district of Bangkok.

Police identified the gunman as 51 year old Pol. Lt. Kitikarn Sangboon, an inspector with the Special Branch of the RTP.

Over 100 SWAT officers took down the police officer, who reportedly died after being shot by police in the left arm, left thigh, and left side of his chest.

According to Khaosod News, the police officer jumped from a window, succumbing to his injuries and gunshot wounds.

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.