Gun guide­lines re­duce pun­ish­ments, caseloads

China Daily European Weekly - - News Digest -

A move to clar­ify penal­ties for peo­ple caught with il­le­gal firearms is not only stop­ping mi­nor of­fend­ers from re­ceiv­ing overly harsh sen­tences, but also pre­vent­ing un­nec­es­sary pros­e­cu­tions, le­gal ex­perts say. China in­tro­duced a guide­line for ju­di­cial au­thor­i­ties on han­dling cases in­volv­ing air guns on March 30, putting the fo­cus on the weapon’s power and the dan­ger it poses rather than the num­ber of firearms in a de­fen­dant’s pos­ses­sion. Ac­cord­ing to the guide­lines, a weapon that can launch a shell with en­ergy of 0.16 joules per square cen­time­ter should be re­garded as an “im­i­ta­tion firearm”, while any­thing above 1.8 joules per sq cm — which ex­perts say is pow­er­ful enough to bruise a per­son’s skin — should be clas­si­fied as a gun.

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