The gun destruction ceremony was overseen by the national police chief, Pol. Gen. Damrongsak Kittiprapas, and his deputy. Both of the police officers have frequently been directly involved in well-known incidents involving gun violence.
Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has called for stricter enforcement of gun laws and enhanced efforts to combat illegal gun possession. Yet, no specific recent incident was cited as the reason for this week’s ceremonial gun disposal.
Guns of all kinds, including pistols, revolvers, hunting rifles, shotguns, improvised weapons, and assault rifles of military quality, were destroyed during the incident in Rayong. Before they were destroyed, a number of terrifyingly potent weaponry, such as fully automatic Russian Kalashnikovs (AK) and American M16/M4 rifles, were on exhibit.
It is unknown how many of the 20,735 total destroyed items were firearms as opposed to ammo or other weapons, according to the police report.
The Royal Thai Police are dealing with all facets of illicit gun possession and trade, the police chief acknowledged. Authorities are attempting to address the growing issue of social media-based online gun and weapon transactions.
Over the past year, improper gun laws in Thailand have led to a number of high-profile incidents that horrified the nation and prompted calls for stricter enforcement.
During a family disagreement in Bangkok last week, Lt Gen Panya Pinsuk, commander of the Royal Thai Police Office, was shot and killed by his wife. Why the police weapon used wasn’t secured is a mystery.
On October 6, a former policeman from Nong Bua Lamphu who had a history of methamphetamine use and behavioral disorders murdered around 30 kids at a nearby kindergarten. The cop was being tried for drug possession at the time of the incident, and he had previously been fired from the force.
Despite this, police never said why they hadn’t taken his gun, and he never received an explanation for this.