KOTA KINABALU: More than 40 unclaimed firearms were disposed of by the police in Sabah’s northern Kudat district on Saturday.
Kudat Police Chief Supt Mohd Haris Ibrahim said some of the firearms comprised shotguns and rifles.
The items have been kept in 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 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,” Mohd Haris said.
He said they have issued notices to claim the firearms during a dialogue with firearm owners in the district in July.
He added the authorities have the right to dispose 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 department to ensure our weapons’ storage are 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 is off Kudat.
He said police have observed a spike in illegal hunting of wild boar, mousedeer and pangolins, among others.
Jauteh said they have been receiving reports of hunters coming to the island without reporting their entry or seeking approval for hunting.