Army leaders in Myanmar will permit
Army leaders in Myanmar will permit "loyal" citizens to possess firearms.

Burma: According to reports from the military and the media, Myanmar's military government intends to permit devoted civilians, such as government employees and retired military personnel, to possess firearms with a license. However, they must abide by local authorities' instructions to take part in security and law enforcement operations.

The news stoked concerns about increased violence in a nation where some UN experts have described a civil war as being raging.

On pro-military Facebook pages and Telegram channels, a 15-page policy document attributed to the Ministry of Home Affairs was first shared. Additionally, pro-military and independent news sources released it, reporting that it had been approved at a December Cabinet meeting and issued on January 31.

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According to the document, applicants for gun permits must be patriotic, morally upright, and refrain from interfering with national security. Maj. Gen. Zaw Min Tun, a military spokesman, confirmed the policy to the BBC's Burmese-language service on Sunday and explained that it was necessary to issue it because some people were requesting to carry weapons to defend themselves from attacks by anti-military groups.

Police Brig.-Gen Kyaw Lin, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Home Affairs, was quoted by two pro-military online news outlets as saying that the policy revives and modifies one that was implemented in 1977 by the regime of the late dictator Gen. Ne Win. After a massive, ultimately unsuccessful pro-democracy uprising in 1988, the military took away civilians' access to firearms and ordered them to surrender all of their weapons.

Two years ago, the military overthrew Aung San Suu Kyi's elected government. This led to widespread, nonviolent protests, which later turned violent as security forces used lethal force to repress any remaining opposition.

It is widely believed that the military government made the decision to license firearms as a means of arming its supporters to help state security forces fight pro-democracy opponents.

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According to reports, crime has increased as a result of the fighting's chaos and the government's emphasis on fighting its political rivals. The People's Defense Force, the loosely organized armed wing of the main opposition party, the National Unity Government, and their allies in ethnic minority militias, engage in combat with the army the majority of the time.

As a covert parallel national government, the NUG was founded by elected lawmakers who were prevented from taking office when the army seized control.

A co-founder of the non-violent pro-democracy University Students' Union Alumni Force, Nan Lin, claimed that the military is acting because of intense political and military pressure.

"The military is still unable to accurately assess the situation. Nan Lin stated on Monday, "I believe they are attempting to further divide society and increase conflict.

People are now able to apply for licenses for five different kinds of firearms.

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Pistols, some kinds of shotguns, and air guns in calibers of 38 and 9 mm. Larger weapons require special permits. The term of a license is one year.

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