What does it take to get a license for a gun? Are there different requirements for permits for different types of guns? Can I get a permit to carry a homemade gun (Thai Pradit)?
– Gun shy, Patong.
To legally own a gun in Phuket, you must apply at your local District Office. The applicant must be Thai, as foreigners are not allowed to buy or carry any type of firearm or ammunition in Thailand.
Note that in Thailand air guns are considered firearms and owners must be licensed to own and carry these weapons as well.
On that note, several years ago a Governor of Phuket ordered, as a gun-control measure, that although people can still buy and own new guns, all officials were ordered to cease issuing permits to carry guns in public places. This policy is still in place today.
So, if your application for a gun permit is approved by the District Office, you will be issued a Firearm Purchasing License (P3) within 15 days. Cost of application is: Air rifle B100; Other gun B500.
To apply, you must be over 20 years old; not suffer any physical disabilities or mental disorders; be living at the registered address on the application form for at least six months; and never been imprisoned by criminal court.
You will need to bring with you your ID card (original and one copy) and the house registration book (original and one copy) for where you are registered as living, and a letter of recommendation citing the main reason for your request supported by an official of at least Level Six ranking or higher. You may be asked for other evidence to help support your request.
Your fingerprints will be recorded and we will do a background check on your behaviour.
If you are apply for a gun permit for sporting purposes, you must bring evidence of your shooting club membership of not less than 60 days.
You must also bring written confirmation that you have had training in use of firearms from an acceptable shooting club.
If you want to buy a secondhand gun that is already registered, you must provide all of the above as well and the person selling the gun must sign the transfer of registration form in person in front of an official at the District Office while presenting all his/her official documents proving he/she is the legally registered owner of the firearm being sold. The official may ask for details as required.
Once you have bought your firearm, the shop selling it must register the transfer of registration with the Ministry of Interior’s Investigation and Legal Affairs Bureau in Bangkok. The shop will need to send your P1 and P3, and the original handbook for the firearm, to Bangkok, where the gun will be registered with your details and a registration number. This process will take about 30 days.
Once this has been done, you must return to the District Office, where your handbook and P.3 will be returned to you. You must bring your firearm to prove the registered details are correct. If correct, you will be issued a license to actually use the gun (P4), which will take about 15 days.
All types of gun require the same documents when applying, but applicants must state clearly which type of gun they want to buy in their application for a gun permit.
In case you need to carry your gun to the shooting club, you do not need to ask for permission, but you must carry your P.4 permit with you, the gun and ammunition must be separated and you cannot carry the firearm on your person. Make sure that the gun is not ready to use.
To carry the gun to another province, in case of changing address, you must report to your local District Office that you will be moving and taking the firearm with you, and you must notify the District Office for the area you will be moving to. This must be done before you move.
All “Thai Pradit” homemade guns are illegal to make, own or carry.
Gun permits are valid for one year, and must be renewed every year.
– Sayan Chanachaiwong, Chief of Kathu District