Military-ruled Myanmar is set to allow civilians "loyal to the state" to apply for licences to carry firearms, according to media reports and an unverified government document.
The leaked document, purported to originate from the home ministry, was reviewed by Reuters and other media. It set out criteria for those seeking a gun licence.
It is said that the permission to carry weapons was made to strengthen the pro-junta groups. It is also said that this practice will increase the daily conflict between the army and the armed resistance forces.
Reuters could not immediately verify the 15-page document, and it was unclear when such a law would take effect. Telephone calls to a military spokesperson to seek comment went unanswered.
The document provides for members of counter-insurgency bodies, officially formed militias and those retired from the military to carry pistols, rifles and submachine guns so long as they have such a permit.
According to rumors, the military government would have the right to import and sell firearms and ammunition licenced by the defence ministry.