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Illegal guns threaten security
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Illegal gun trafficking remains a threat to public security in China, according to the law enforcement authority and experts who have studied the underground industry.

Although it is against the law to possess or trade in guns in China, weapons are believed to be widely available.

Guns made underground, those smuggled into the country and weapons stolen from arsenals are the major sources of the threat, while towns along international borders and in impoverished areas are the places most susceptible to gun trafficking. Police have even found illegal websites linking gun sellers and buyers.

Gun and ammunition ownership is permitted only with a relevant license.

Traffickers face a minimum of three years' imprisonment and a maximum sentence of death. But the Ministry of Public Security reported nearly 1,400 firearms and more than 33,000 bullets seized during a recent campaign.

(China Daily June 4, 2009)

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