Tongans Embrace Guns for Self-Defense as Crime Rates Rise


Summary: As crime rates increase in Tonga, some residents are turning to guns for self-defense, despite strict regulations. A small black market for firearms has emerged, and illegal firearms are being confiscated by police. The government is concerned about the link between illegal firearms and organized crime, as well as accidents involving firearms. While some Tongans support owning guns for protection, others believe the government should focus on improving border security and cracking down on drug trafficking.

Sunday in Tonga is typically a peaceful day filled with the sound of church bells and the aroma of cooking. However, crime rates have been on the rise in recent years, leading some Tongans to embrace the US approach to self-defense by owning guns. Tevita Sanft, a farmer in Tonga, now takes his guns with him to church and sleeps with a gun nearby due to the increase in robberies in his neighborhood. While guns are not common in Tonga, more residents are softening their stance on firearm ownership. Tonga’s Deputy Police Commissioner, Tevita Vailea, expressed concern about Tonga becoming a part of the gun problem seen in larger countries. Despite efforts by the police to crack down on illegal firearms, a small black market for guns has emerged, and the Tongan royal family has acknowledged frustrations with the lengthy process of obtaining a firearm license. Border protection is also a concern, as Tonga is targeted by drug cartels for smuggling drugs into New Zealand and Australia. The Tongan government faces the challenge of balancing the need for self-defense with the risks associated with illegal firearms and organized crime.

Tags: Tongans, guns, self-defense, crime rates, black market, firearm regulations, border security, drug trafficking, organized crime, Tonga