Regulating gun use of police
Given the inclusion of some new clauses that expand or restrict the powers of the police, the draft of the Police Law, which has been made public to solicit public opinions, has received extensive attention. Since the law’s enactment on Feb 28, 1995, the country’s legal and social environment has undergone enormous changes, and with the authorities committed to advancing the rule of law and public obedience to the law, it has become necessary to amend the Police Law so it meets the needs of the times.
Any improper use of their powers by police officers will undermine people’s trust in the police and the law, and cause public misgivings about the use of power. So the expanding or restraining of the powers of the police is of concern to all, thus any revision of the Police Law needs to be open and transparent. Therefore, it marks a significant step forward for the authorities to solicit public opinions on the proposed amendments.
Police power constitutes a part of the State’s compulsory power, which includes the use of force. However, the use of force by the police, including the use of guns, is very complicated and any misuse will have adverse consequences. The exposure of cases involving police officers using their firearms has caused grave public concerns over their right to use a gun.
With this in mind, the draft proposes strictly regulating the use of weapons by police. However, police officers are empowered to use their weapons when necessary, and specific scenarios are laid out in which police officers can use their weapons. This offers them institutional and legal guarantees to exercise their right to use force if necessary.
Regulating the use of guns by the police will not only guide police officers to properly exercise their powers, it will also help prevent any abuse of a police officer’s right to use a gun.