Gun Control, Junta Style
Myanmar junta chief Min Aung Hlaing has signed a law prescribing the death sentence for stealing or attempting to steal, unlawfully selling, transferring or destroying state-owned weapons and ammunition. The law’s enactment follows the junta’s offer of cash rewards to resistance fighters who defect to the Myanmar military along with their weapons. Earlier, the regime offered amnesty to people who surrendered their illicit firearms, promising not to check how the weapons were acquired. The latest move aims at curbing the spread of arms amid the ongoing defection of junta soldiers and police to the resistance side, as well as escalating attacks and seizure of weapons from junta bases by resistance forces, according to The Irrawaddy. In late January, the regime responded to increased killings of retired military officials and informants by issuing a policy allowing it to provide guns to military supporters.