More than 300 illegal homemade rifles have been collected by authorities in Preah Vihear province already this year, provincial police chief Si Kiry said yesterday.
Local authorities handed over the consolidated collection to provincial officials yesterday.
“We are running a campaign to encourage the people to voluntarily hand over their homemade rifles to the authorities,” Kiry said.
The weapons would be burned in September, he said.
Last year, the police burned 1,574 rifles in the province.
Prom Sokhom, deputy chief of Kulen district police, said that police and local authorities were asking people to voluntarily hand the weapons over to them without punishment.
According to Sokhom, most people fulfilled this request. First offenders were given a warning and told to sign a contract promising to stop assembling, buying, and using these firearms.
Sokhom said rifle barrels were illegally imported from Laos. Villagers then built the rest of the weapon out of wood.
“They always use the rifles for illegal hunting,” Sokhom said.
“If they do not hand the weapons to us, we will seize them,” he said, adding that those found violating the contract “will face imprisonment”.
Lor Chann, provincial coordinator at Adhoc, noted the weapons could also lead to deaths and injuries.