Chinese surrenders 19,000 firearms in a week
Updated: 2006-08-25 06:55

Members of the public handed in 19,000 firearms in a single week in response to a crackdown across China on illegal firearms, explosives and knives.

In the week with intensified publicity from August 14 to 20, local authorities received 115.8 tons of explosives, 305,000 detonators and 124,000 meters of fuse wire voluntarily handed in by individuals.

They also collected six tons of black powder, 422,000 bullets and 145,000 knives from individuals, according to the Ministry of Public Security.

The ministry did not reveal how people had acquired the illegal items.

The public had strongly supported the campaign, according to the ministry.

Public security authorities also received 3,259 tip-offs on crimes involving firearms, explosives and knives in Beijing, Hebei, Henan, Shanxi and Guangdong and other areas. The information helped the police resolve 680 cases and arrest more than 2,900 suspects.

The crackdown on the illegal production, trade, stockpiling and use of firearms, explosives and knives was launched in early June. Sumbitting such materials to the police during the campaign will absolve the holders of punishment or reduce the punishment.

Chinese law forbids civilians to personally keep guns, ammunition, explosives and certain sorts of knieves. Violations may inccur sentences ranging from a minimum of three years to ten years in ordinary cases but life imprisonment and death penalty in serious cases.

By August 20, the police has collected a total of 1,388 tons of explosives, 3.26 million detonators, 1.69 million meters of fuse, 104,000 guns, 85,000 emulational guns, 2.02 million bullets and 810,000 knives in this campaign.

In addition, they cracked more than 5,180 cases of illegally producing, selling and buying, transporting, storing and carrying explosives, guns and ammunition.

The police also cracked more than 200 explosion cases and more than 60 cases of stealing or taking by force explosives.

According to the ministry, the public is very supportive of the campaign and so far has provided 10,343 clues to the police, of which 4,217 are valid.

In the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in south China, the authorities recorded 102 cases involving illegal firearms, explosives and knives and arrested 435 suspects in the 70 days since the campaign started.

Regional public security authorities have offered rewards up to 5,000 yuan (625 U.S. dollars) for information leading to convictions.

In central China's Hunan Province, rewards up to 10,000 yuan (1,250 U.S. dollars) were offered. The authorities in the provincial capital of Changsha investigated into 22 cases involving illegal deals of firearms, explosives and knives from July to August 10.

Spokesman for the Ministry of Public Security Wu Heping said last month that the country's overall security situation concerning explosives, guns and knives was "not optimistic", and the ministry vowed to tighten the crackdown.


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