Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas, the national police chief, said yesterday (Oct 10) the Royal Thai Police Office and the Interior Ministry planned to recall guns from police, administrative officials and other governmental officials who were issued government-sponsored weapons but showed aggressive behaviour.
Officials who had faced complaints about their behaviour and retired officials with such characteristics would not be spared, reports the Bangkok Post.
He added that people who wanted gun icences would first have to be certified for good mental health, and holders of such licences would have to pass mental checkups over time.
Relevant officials would discuss such gun control measures in a meeting convened by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha tomorrow, Pol Gen Damrongsak said.
The movement followed the brutal massacre by a sacked policeman at a childcare centre in Nong Bua Lam Phu province last Thursday.
The ex-cop, who had been previously prosecuted for drug abuse, murdered 37 people - including 24 children - in Na Klang district on Thursday afternoon before taking his own life. He also killed his wife and son.
Earlier the national police chief said the man had mental problems after extensive drug abuse.
Self-harm fears rise in massacre’s wake
Meanwhile, at least 10 out of the 170 residents of Nong Bua Lam Phu’s Na Klang district who were directly affected by the massacre last week are considered to be at high risk of self-harming behaviour, according to the Department of Mental Health.
DMH director-general, Amporn Benjaponpitak, said the department is working closely with residents in the community, especially the relatives of those who were killed in the bloody rampage.
The DMH has sent a team of counsellors to look after the victims’ relatives, Dr Amporn said, noting they will receive psychological support for two or three months, as determined by mental health professionals.
That said, Dr Amporn said she was concerned counselling might not be enough for some individuals.
“Out of the 170 people who were directly affected by the tragedy, at least 10 are at risk of developing self-harming behaviour,” she said.
“This includes the killer’s mother, who is facing a lot of social pressure from her community. For the time being, she should stay away [from other members of her community] to avoid a confrontation,” she added, noting some residents of tambon Uthai Sawan want her to leave the area as they couldn’t accept the fact that her son was responsible for the tragedy.
To prevent the situation from deteriorating further, Dr Amporn called on media outlets to refrain from referring to the incident as a “shooting rampage”, out of concerns that it could spark copy-cats from carrying out a similar act.
It could aggravate the mental health issues of those directly affected by the tragedy, which could happen especially when they are repeatedly exposed to images of the incident, she said.
Separately, Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul came out to defend the protracted autopsy process, insisting that the entire process has to be done properly.