Anutin issues order to halt gun licences

Anutin issues order to halt gun licences

Ban on new permits to last one year

National police chief Pol Gen Torsak Sukwimol announces the results of the seizure of more than 2,000 pistols seized by police during a gun crackdown from Oct 9 to 11, 2023. (Photo: Somchai Poomlard)
National police chief Pol Gen Torsak Sukwimol announces the results of the seizure of more than 2,000 pistols seized by police during a gun crackdown from Oct 9 to 11, 2023. (Photo: Somchai Poomlard)

Interior Minister Anutin Charnvirakul has signed an order instructing firearms registrars to stop issuing licences to carry guns for one year in an attempt to curb gun violence, said Traisuree Taisaranakul, secretary to the interior minister.

The order, known as Por 12, is in accordance with the Firearms, Ammunition, Explosive, Fireworks and Imitation Firearms Act, she said.

It is being forwarded to Prime Minister and Finance Minister Srettha Thavisin for approval, she said, adding it will take effect the day after it is announced in the Royal Gazette.

Ms Traisuree said the order, a gun-control measure, does not apply to state officials such as police who are permitted to carry firearms while on duty.

Last week, permanent secretary for the interior, Suthipong Chulcharoen, said he had instructed provincial governors to tell firearms registrars to stop issuing Por 12 licences in their provinces.

Firearms registrars in the provinces can include provincial governors, district chiefs and deputy district chiefs, while the firearms registrar in Bangkok is the director-general of the Provincial Administration Department.

Mr Suthipong said firearms registrars were also told to stop issuing new licences for the import and sale of imitation firearms to existing licencees while those possessing blank guns, BB guns, or imitation firearms that can be modified into real weapons were told to register them at local registrars.

The measures follow a series of deadly shootings in Bangkok that triggered calls for a review of the granting of firearms licences to the general public and for stricter gun control measures.

The first shooting occurred on Oct 3 at Siam Paragon shopping mall when a 14-year-old boy went on a rampage, killing three people and wounding five others.

A teacher at the Sacred Heart Convent School in Bangkok's Klong Toey area was killed by a stray bullet when rival student gangs clashed on Nov 11.

Shortly after, a 15-year-old Mathayom 5 student was struck by a stray bullet in Suan Luang district when gangs of youths fought.

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