More than 200 homemade rifles were destroyed by Pursat provincial police on Wednesday, the DIY firearms having been seized as part of a campaign spanning the past five years, provincial police chief of staff Hieng Sitha explained.
“These were a kind of homemade air gun,” he said, but noted that some “use bullets, such as those fired by AK-47s, or other improvised ammunition”.
He said the rifles had been used by local people for hunting and home protection.
“We collected the rifles by cooperating with the Forestry Administration. They arrested hunters and handed the rifles over to the courts, who then gave them to us to destroy,” he said, adding that some of the illicit arms were turned over to the police voluntarily.
“Some people buried their rifles, but after we explained to them, they dug them up and handed them over,” he said.
Theang Leng, Veal Veng district police chief, said that in 2015 alone, he confiscated 20 homemade guns.
“The rifles were made by individual people, there is no common production place,” said Leng. “We haven’t arrested anyone, we just took their rifles and warned them not to make any more,” Theang Leng said.
Theam Bun Seng, director of the Interior Ministry’s gun control department, said the law does not see a difference between real and homemade rifles and individuals refusing to turn over their weapons will be punished.