By APD writer Chen Jiabao
BANGKOK, Oct.12 (APD) -- The National Legislative Assembly(NLA) of Thailand Thursday passed the amendments to the 1947 Weapon, Firearm, Explosive and Firework Act, banning foreigners in Thailand from possessing and using guns.
According to the newly amended law, only Thais can register a gun with authorities. Previously, nationality was not an issue and foreigners residing in Thailand could apply.
Owning a firearm in Thailand has been legal since 1947. The Act Controlling Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives, Fireworks and Imitation of Firearms only allows for people to obtain licenses to own guns for purposes of self-defense, protection of property, sports or hunting. But it didn't mention that applicants must be Thai nationals.
The law also brings stricter control on weapon silencers fireworks, and electrics darts.
Offenses under the law could face a jail term of one to 20 years.
The NLA passed the amendment with 201 in favor. It will become effective after it is promulgated in the Royal Gazette.
Thailand has a high per capita gun murder rate.With 7.48 registered violent gun deaths per 100,000 people, the rate is also twice as high as that of the US, which had 3.55 deaths per 100,000 people in 2013, according to data provided by the University of Washington's Institute for Health and Metric Evaluation.
(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)