Myanmar: Regime’s New Gun Ownership Policy Criticized


Political analysts and legal experts say the military regime’s promulgation of the right for civilians and government employees to bear arms could make things worse in Myanmar, a country beset by decades of civil war.

The principle of the right to bear arms, which was enacted by the military regime on January 31, was approved at a junta meeting in December 2022 but only gained traction in local media this month.

The military junta has announced that those who have reached the age of 18, are loyal to the state and possess good character have a right to carry weapons for security. Those who do not endanger national security and those who have never been criminally prosecuted can apply for the right to bear arms, while those who are clinically insane are not allowed to apply.

U Than Soe Naing, a political analyst, said the principle of the right to bear arms is an opportunity for pro-military supporters and may pose a danger to ordinary civilians.

“In the face of endless internal conflicts, the granting of the right to bear arms means that people who are not in the military can take security protection. If the people were to apply for the right to bear arms, they would be watched with suspicion and there would be danger to them. This right to bear arms will only make the country worse and more complicated,” he said.

More than two years after the military coup in Myanmar, armed conflicts are raging throughout the country.

A legal expert who did not wish to be named said that issuing the right to bear arms at a time when the country is in such turmoil could be more dangerous for the country.

“If the public and military supporters are allowed to hold guns freely, they will not be able to control the weapons and there will be more crimes,” said U Pe Than, an Arakanese politician. “In times of political and economic turmoil, the side effects of gun ownership will multiply. We will have to wait and see what happens next. If it’s for personal safety, there will be a situation where you have to take care of yourself more.”

The military regime said that those who have the right to carry arms and ammunition are responsible for complying when instructed to participate by a local authority or government organisation in order to maintain regional security, law and order, and stability.

The military council issued the principle of allowing people to bear arms by amending the 1878 Arms Act.


Development Media Group (DMG) was founded on the Thai-Myanmar border on January 9, 2012, in accordance with the current requirements of Arakan (Rakhine) State, by both residents inside the country, and former residents now in exile, who see value in meaningful quality media and applying news media as a powerful resource for regional stability, peace-making, and holistic and sustainable development.

One thought on “Myanmar: Regime’s New Gun Ownership Policy Criticized

  • February 18, 2023 at 9:33 am

    I totally disagree with this decision. I would not elaborate how bad such practice has caused in so many country the crimes with those legal guns. By allowing guns in the wrong hands will certainly encourage more crimes against the majority and ordinary non-gun-holders of already very much insecure nation. I’m greatly surprised about the wisdom of making such a law. It seems that the fire started at their tails and don’t know how to extinguish so that jumping, squeaking, and jumping all the way to their graves!


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