6 June 2024

Police officers who misbehave may have their service or legally-purchased firearms confiscated under new gun control measures, being considered by the Interior Ministry and the Royal Thai Police, to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands.

In the future, applicants for gun licenses may have to show a doctor’s certificate regarding their mental health before a permit is granted.

The measures are part of a set being considered to prevent guns from falling into the wrong hands, said the national police chief, Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittipraphat, today (Monday).

He said that police officers who have been issued with service pistols, or who have been granted permission to buy guns, may have their weapons confiscated, if it is discovered that they are prone to violence, have tendency to resort to the use of firearms or who are accused of abusive use of a gun.

He said that this measure may be extended to include retired police officers.

These measures are being considered following Thursday’s mass murder at a childcare centre in Nong Bua Lam Phu province, when a former police officer went on a killing spree with a handgun and a knife, said the police chief.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has scheduled a meeting this Wednesday, with Interior Minister Anupong Paochinda, the national police chief and senior officials of the two agencies, to discuss gun control and illegal narcotic suppression.

38 people, mostly young children, died in the atrocity, including the perpetrator, his wife and their son.

The former police officer reportedly used his own semi-automatic handgun, bought under the gun welfare scheme, to commit the mass shooting. He also had a history of drug abuse, which began during his school years.