police check newly confiscated guns in Nanjing, east China's Jiangsu
province, June 3, 2006. Chinese police launched a four-month operation to
crackdown the deadly trade in illegal guns and explosives, the
Ministry of Public Security said on Tuesday.
Chinese police have launched a crackdown on the deadly trade in illegal guns
During the four-month operation, efforts will be made to trace and confiscate
illegal guns, explosives and knives, the Ministry of Public Security said
The production, sale and stockpiling of guns and explosives have been
decreasing nationwide since 2001, but the problem is still "severe" in some
areas, and causes "constant accidents," ministry spokesman Wu Heping said at a
Although illegal, weapons production and dealing remains rampant in Hualong
County in Northwest China's Qinghai Province and Songtao County in Southwest
China's Guizhou Province, the ministry said.
Despite harsh penalties criminals who sell guns or explosives can receive
punishments ranging from three years in jail to the death penalty high profits
still attract people to the trade.
"Each gun may generate profits of up to 3,000 yuan (US$375)," said Xu Hu,
deputy director of the ministry's public security bureau. "The money is a huge
temptation for farmers with yearly incomes of less than 1,000 yuan (US$125)."
Last June, criminals Ma Saiyi and Ma Huni were arrested in Qinghai for the
production and sale of more than 100 guns. They were both jailed for 12 years.
Meanwhile more gun crimes have been reported in South China's Guangdong
Province, according to the ministry.
Xu said officials were working closely with police from Hong Kong and Macao,
which neighbour the province, to combat the gun trade in triad-ridden areas.
Ministry figures show that more than 3.8 million illegal weapons have been
confiscated in recent years.
Explosives are another threat. So far this year, illegally produced dynamite
has killed 60 and injured 36 in nine accidents.
The latest explosion killed 10 and left one seriously injured in Xiyankou
Village in Fanshi County, North China's Shanxi Province, last Thursday.
Police are still hunting for two suspects, who went on the run following the
The ministry said the explosives problem is especially serious in North
China's Hebei and Shanxi provinces, East China's Shandong and Fujian provinces,
and Central China's Hunan and Henan provinces.
Because China has tightened regulations on the management of explosives, some
unlicensed coalmines have no way to get legal dynamite and have turned to
illegal sources, which "encourages the underground production and sale of
explosives," said Xu.
Xu said officials had now finished numbering detonators in a bid to make it
easier to manage their sale and distribution.
Currently, China produces more than 3.2 billion detonators every year, but Xu
said serial numbers would not be duplicated in 10 years under the new