Gun ownership: Plantation owners, farmers must undergo Home Ministry vetting to get permit, says Hamzah

KUALA LUMPUR: Plantation owners or farmers who wish to apply for firearms licence to protect their crops from wild animals are required to undergo strict screening by the Home Ministry, the Dewan Rakyat was told.

Its Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin said the ministry and the police have a comprehensive guideline when reviewing each applications for firearms permit or licence which is outlined under the Arms Act 1960.

"Approval of firearms either for pistol, rifle, or shotgun, that are newly bought or through a transfer of ownership, will be reviewed carefully and strictly.

"This is because such firearms can cause loss of life. So only those who truly require and are qualified will be approved for the firearms license or permit," he told Datuk Mohd Nizar Zakaria (BN-Parit) during the Ministers' Question Time on Thursday (Dec 3).

Mohd Nizar had asked the Home Ministry whether it was prepared to ease restrictions on some of the conditions for plantation or farm owners applying for firearms licence as they need the weapons to protect their crops from damage by animals, such as wild boars and monkeys.

Hamzah said there are several main criteria to be fulfilled before applications to own firearms can be approved.

Among them, they must pass all the security and background checks, be physically and mentally sound, they are owners of agricultural land and live in the area.

"For plantation or farm owners who do not own or were not considered for firearms license or permit, if they have a problem, I suggest that they seek the assistance from the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) or the local People's Volunteer Corps (Rela) members to help address the threat," added Hamzah.

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