Phnom Penh will ban the sale and import of all water guns in the markets and will confiscate any water guns they see in order to cut down on accidents or people maliciously using the toy guns during the Khmer New Year, Phnom Penh Governor Chea Sophara has ordered again this year.
Chea Sophara said he is announcing the decision one month before Khmer New Year in order to warn market-stall owners now not to import the guns.
Last year, many business owners said they were angry at the city because they lost money after the city banned water guns the businesses had already imported, Chea Sophara said.
Mann Chhoeun, municipal Cabinet chief, said the city banned the water guns because they caused accidents when people sprayed water at motorbike drivers. The drivers would sometimes crash their bikes to avoid the spray, he said.
“We will ban the guns from now on to prevent accidents that cause people to die and to keep people safe,” he said. “This is done to maintain security during the Khmer New Year.”
The city also banned the toy guns because people expressed their fear that individuals would put acid into the guns instead of water and could maim someone, Chea Sophara said.
Than Sina, vice governor of Phnom Penh, agreed with Chea Sophara and said he is worried about the water guns because they could cause social unrest.
“We will not allow people to use them because our nation is now peaceful, and if we let people play with them it will look bad,” he said.
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