Tonga's Defence Services says its warning that it is able to use lethal force to maintain law and order is simply a reminder to people that a state of emergency is still in place.
Lieutenant Commander, Solomon Sevelio, says the TDS is empowered to use lethal force to apprehend anyone who is using weapons to threaten the safety of the public.
Lt. Commander Sevelio says they issued the warning because there were at least two incidents last week where weapons were involved.
"We see a pattern that criminal activity is on the rise, mostly domestic, which are involving weapons such as pistols and bush knives."
Lieutenant Commander, Solomon Sevelio