City Gov’t Steps Up Gun-Collection Efforts

The municipality has stepped up its efforts to confiscate wea­pons by singling out low-ranking officers who have not turned in their firearms, officials said Sun­day.

“We are sending letters telling them to turn their guns over to the municipality,” said Sok Lak­hena, deputy chief of municipal cabinet.

To collect the remaining fire­arms, the government has as­sembled a list of officers who have not yet returned their weap­ons, said Ouk Kim Lek, director of administration for the Ministry of Interior.

The list is complete with photographs and addresses of those who still hold weapons, he said. If they do not respond, he noted, ac­tion will be taken against them.

“If they refuse to hand over their guns, we will send complaints to the court,” Ouk Kim Lek said.

Since February, the city has received more than 5,000 of the roughly 16,000 guns currently registered at the Ministry of Interior, Ouk Kim Lek said.

Now only 300 of the 16,000 guns are authorized for use by gov­ernment officers in Phnom Penh, he said. Only those with the rank of colonel, director-general and higher are allowed to hold guns, he said.

Government leaders have been pushing for the confiscation and destruction of weapons. Roughly 5,000 rifles were bulldozed in Battambang town in August, the fourth gun destruction ceremony in recent months.

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