National Police Chief Police General Torsak Sukvimol revealed that of the 1,320 cases linked to guns, the majority centred on illicit sales and wrongful firearm ownership. The crackdown’s focal point? To stem the tide of gun violence, a recent wave of which involved technical college students settling scores most alarmingly.
Klong Toey witnessed an incident on Nov 11, followed by another in Dusit district a week later, underscoring the urgency of the issue. Pol. Gen. Torsak warns that illegal firearms are a reality in this country. Continuous suppression operations are crucial.
The Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) is stepping into the breach. Police Lieutenant General Jirabhop Bhuridej, CIB Chief, ordered the Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau (CCIB) to form a squad targeting the online arms bazaar. The ease with which even youngsters can buy guns online is alarming, citing the 14 year old Siam Paragon gunman’s case.
While police raids persist, online sales continue to thrive.
Pol. Lt. Gen. Jirabhop warns that his team will monitor not only firearms but also narcotics and illegal items on social media.
“We aim to catch sellers before they can peddle their illegal pistols.”
Concerns linger over the abuse of the government’s welfare gun policy. Reports suggest officials exploit tax-free firearms for personal gain. Notable cases, including Praween Chankhlai, expose the flaws. Pol. Lt. Gen. Jirabhop calls for stricter control, drawing comparisons with Singapore and Japan’s stringent gun policies, reported Bangkok Post.
Suttipong Juljarern, Interior Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, takes drastic measures. Blank guns and imitation firearms face a nationwide import ban. Blank gun owners must now register with local authorities, curtailing potential misuse. Suttipong highlights a cooperative effort with the RTP on future gun registration suspensions.
The Interior Ministry, in line with government policy, instructs provincial governors to halt firearm license issuance. Suggestions from administrative officials include setting up checkpoints in crowded areas, embodying a proactive strategy to curb gun violence and safeguard visitors.