11 July 2024

The Royal Thai Police (RTP) has indefinitely suspended its welfare gun program after it was discovered that some unscrupulous police officers, who placed orders for mostly handguns, have used the “Por 3” gun purchase permits to buy guns to resell online, according to Pol Gen Torsak Sukvimol, the deputy national police chief.

To prevent this malpractice, he said that the RTP is considering introducing new technology to stamp a QR code on each handgun, so it can be tracked.

Former president of the Shooting Sports Association of Thailand, Atiprat Kanchanasuwan, told Thai PBS that there is a loophole in the police welfare gun program, which has been exploited by unscrupulous police officers.

He pointed out that each “Por 3” permit can, normally, be used to buy only one firearm from a gun shop and each permit is valid for six months only.

He noted, however, that there is no limit to the number of “Por 3” permits for which an officer can apply, the issuance of which is at the discretion of the gun registration officer in each district or the registration officer for Bangkok.

When the permit holder buys a gun, they will be issued with a “Por 4” gun license by the registration officer, he said, adding that each license will specify the name of the gun owner, the type of the firearm and its serial number.

The RTP’s move to tighten gun controls comes after a police officer at Pak Kret police station in Nonthaburi province allegedly stole 159 guns, including M-16 assault rifles, from the station’s storage over about 5 years and resold them. So far, about 60 of those weapons have been retrieved.