Sabah police chief suggests a consortium to be set up to build legal firearms factory

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah police have suggested that a consortium be set up to make way for a legal firearms factory to be built in this state, so that people no longer make "weapons in their backyards".

State police commissioner Datuk Hazani Ghazali said previously, there were reports of bullets being sold illegally and that the supply was easily accessible in Sabah, due to demands from owners of illegal homemade shotguns called bakakuk here.

“The Inspector-General of Police (IGP) even ordered the monitoring of such sales last year.

“That is why I suggested that a consortium be formed to build a legal firearms factory so that we can provide firearms like shotguns and bullets legally to those qualified to possess them.

“Or else, we will keep seeing people designing their own bakakuks in their backyards ... We might as well have a legal factory since Sabah does not have such a facility yet,” he said on Monday (July 26).

Hazani said this at the Sandakan police station during the 2021/2022 firearms licence renewal programme.

According to him, intelligence reports from the Sabah police contingent licensing division found that there is a demand for bullets in the black market, despite the items being highly priced.

He said owners of bakakuk who conduct illegal wildlife hunting were among those who purchased these bullets.

“However, following our previous recommendation to the Bukit Aman police headquarters to limit bullet possession to 100 per individual to avoid misuse, this has helped in reducing illegal hunting activities and illegal use of firearms,” he added.

Hazani also highlighted incidents of syndicates bringing in fake firearms into Sabah such as “gel blaster” bullets or ball bearings as bullets, which he warned legal firearm owners to avoid being involved with.

He also reminded firearm owners to store their weapons properly so that they would not fall into the hands of irresponsible parties that might misuse the firearms.

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