Thais 13th on firearm owners list

Thais 13th on firearm owners list

Thais own around 10.3 million guns, putting Thailand in 13th place globally for small gun possession, according to a Switzerland-based Small Arms Survey (SAS) report in 2017.

It estimated that Thais possessed the most guns in the Southeast Asia region, with an average of 15 firearms per 100 people.

Of the 10.3 million guns recorded by the SAS in 2017, only around 6.2 million were legally registered.

The United States topped the gun possession ranking with around 393.3 million guns, followed by India (around 71.1 million) and China (49.7 million).

Citing the World Population Review in 2022, Thailand ranked 15th globally in gun deaths with 2,804 people killed by firearms, with a rate of 3.91 people per 100,000 population.

The Philippines was the top country with highest number of people killed by guns in the Asean region with 9,267 deaths.

Topping the global chart was Brazil (with more than 49,000 deaths), followed by the United States (37,000), Mexico (22,118), India (14,712) and Colombia (13,171).

Following the shooting at Siam Paragon shopping mall on Tuesday, committed by a 14-year-old boy, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has ordered the Royal Thai Police to strictly enforce laws regarding online weapon sales.

National police chief, Pol Gen Torsak Sukvimol, yesterday responded by saying police have carried out operations to suppress gun crimes.

In the past two years, police have prosecuted offenders in more than 2,000 cases and seized more than 900 guns.

"Suppression was seriously carried out while I was commanding the Crime Suppression Division," said Pol Gen Torsak.

However, citing Office of the Basic Education Commission statistics, he said many students use blank-firing replicas which don't need a licence and which can be modified to fire bullets.

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