Thaksin suggests 3 month ‘amnesty’ to register illegal guns in Thailand

Ousted former Prime Minister of Thailand Thaksin Shinawatra suggests that the government hold a three month amnesty period in which illegal gun owners can register. Then, police should crack down on the illicit gun trade in Thailand, said Thaksin.

Exiled Thaksin addressed the issues of guns and drugs from his home in Dubai on his weekly talk show, in response to the massacre of 37 people, mostly young children, at a daycare centre in Nong Bua Lamphu province in northeast Thailand on Thursday.

After the amnesty, police should crack down hard by dishing out heavy fines to people who didn’t register and by confiscating all unlicensed firearms. Police should be given incentives to confiscate illicit guns, said Thaksin.

Thailand has the most firearms in all Southeast Asia. About 40% of guns in circulation in Thailand are not licensed, added Thaksin.

Police say that policeman Panya Kamrab bought the 9mm gun he used in the massacre legally. He also owned a shotgun. But given his history of methamphetamine abuse, he should not have passed the assessment.

There are strict measures in Thailand for the general public to purchase a licensed firearm. However, it is much easier and cheaper for police officers and soldiers to acquire firearms.

Thaksin said it must be investigated how violence is cultivated within the army and police force. Thailand’s mass shootings in recent years were committed by soldiers and former policemen. There must be stricter mental health assessments of soldiers and police, said Thaksin.

He scorned at Minister of Interior Anupong Paochinda’s suggestion that teachers should carry guns. If it comes to that, something is seriously wrong in Thai society, said Thaksin.

Exiled Thaksin also said that PM Prayut’s government should destroy confiscated drugs…

“I don’t know if the drugs seized are circulated back into the system or not. In my era, we rented an incinerator and destroyed the seized drugs… but in this government, who knows what happens to them?”

Thaksin said Thailand needs to step up security at land borders to prevent illicit drugs from getting into the country.

Although no traces of drugs were detected in the daycare centre killer’s body, police say he had a history of drug abuse, namely methamphetamine.

PM Prayut has declared a war on drugs and a clampdown on gun control laws to prevent mass shootings.

Thailand News


Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.

Related Articles