KOTA KINABALU: More than 40 unclaimed firearms were disposed of by the police in Sabah’s northern Kudat district on Saturday (Sept 30).
Kudat OCPD Supt Mohd Haris Ibrahim said the firearms consisted of shotguns and rifles.
The items had been kept at the Kudat police’s weapon storage for some time.
The firearms were supposed to be claimed by the next-of-kin of the owners but none came forward to do so, he said.
"We disposed of a total of 42 various types of firearms.
"We believe many did not come to claim them because they had lost interest in taking over possession of the firearms," Supt Mohd Haris said.
He said they had issued notices to claim the firearms during a dialogue with firearm owners in the district in July.
He added the authorities had the right to dispose of the firearms under Section 27(2) of the Firearms Act 1950 if the items were not claimed within six months.
"The exercise today is the proactive effort by the firearm licensing and logistics division of the Kudat police to ensure our weapons’ storage is not overfull with firearms," he said.
Earlier this year in July, Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Jauteh Dikun said they were clamping down on the rampant poaching taking place in Sabah's northernmost island of Banggi which was off Kudat.
He said police had observed a spike in illegal hunting of wild boar, mouse-deer and pangolins, among others.
Comm Jauteh said they have been receiving reports of hunters coming to the island without reporting their entry or seeking approval for hunting from either the Wildlife Department or the police.