Media Coverage of Thai Law, Gun Violence May Hurt Tourism, Business

Top Quote Rising gun violence in Thailand has increasingly captured international media attention, threatening to change the country's peaceful reputation, and may result in Thai law changes related to firearms, according to BSA Law, the leading Thailand law company, expands on possible changes. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) December 19, 2012 - Bangkok - Given the rising international profile of increasing gun crime in Thailand, prominent Thai law company BSA Law would like to take the occasion to remind foreign nationals and Thai citizens alike that pressure will increase on Thai lawmakers to amend gun control laws in the country.

    Reports of rising gun violence in Thailand by major international media is increasingly likely to capture the attention of tourists and, as a result, of tourism operators and authorities. One of the possible results is a more intense effort to crack down on gun crime and possibly change Thai law regarding individual gun ownership.

    Another possible result of the increase in violence, in particular terrorism related incidents such as those that took place earlier this year, could be the tightening of Thai law regarding Thailand work permits for foreigners and other Thai visa services.

    Recently, the well reputed international new agency Reuters reported on growing gun crime in Thailand under the headline "Friendly Thailand stares down the barrel of rising gun crime."

    The news story published around the world in October focused on a series of incidents of flagrant violation of Thai law involving children shooting another child, and pointing out that, under Thai law, the country has four times the rate of gun ownership of the Philippines, a country renowned for gun violence. Several similar new stories in recent months have surfaced, questioning Thai law regarding gun ownership.

    The media reports come on top of calls earlier this year by police for more strict Thai law in relation to gun control. Notably, police called through local media for Thai law changes to alter the Act Controlling Firearms to make guns harder to buy and easier to track.

    "Pressure is mounting on authorities to take a close look at existing Thai law and perhaps restrict gun ownership or take other measures to combat crime and counter the growing media coverage of violence in Thailand," BSA spokesman Apisakde Kongkangwanchoke said. "The violence, or even just the perception of violence, and the impression that Thai law is light on crime could have severe consequences. It could affect business investment in Thailand, the Thailand work permit process, and much more."

    BSA Law draws on three decades of experience as an international law firm in Thailand to provide business advice to Thailand and multinational firms, encompassing Thai labor law, Thai business law and, as needed, security concerns. Both real violence, and the perception of violence, carry a potential impact on business investment in Thailand and on an array of laws governing foreign nationals in the country.

    Under Thai law, tourists are already banned from owning firearms in Thailand, although foreign nationals already living in the country may feel any changes. Currently, foreign nationals need a Thailand work permit, a criminal record check and a house registration to own a firearm.

    A more likely impact on business investment in Thailand could come from bomb attacks and other major, high-profile incidents of violence in Bangkok such as happened early this year. This could also affect the tourism industry as a whole and the Thai visa service and other areas of the economy and government.

    About BSA Law:

    For nearly 30 years, Bamrung Suvicha Apisakdi Law Associates (BSA Law) has focused on providing reliable legal advice and services to the Thai and foreign business community in Thailand. BSA Law seeks to provide international standards of legal services while retaining the customs of the Thai business culture.

    For more information please contact:

    Jim Byrne
    Business Advisor, BSA Law.
    Email: jim ( @ ) bsalaw dot co dot th

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