A senior police officer from Guangdong Province yesterday warned people against illegal possession and use of firearms.
"Anyone who owns, produces or traffics guns, including those used for hunting, or controlled cutting tools is breaking the law," said He Guifu, director of the Guangdong provincial bureau of public security's social security department.
Guangdong is not a major hunting destination, and no one is allowed to keep guns at home, He told a press conference in Guangzhou yesterday.
Those who need a gun to hunt boars or other wild animals in rural areas must leave their weapons with local police.
Such guns are only to be used by local village security teams and only after police have given them approval, he added.
He urged local residents to actively report any illegal possession or use of guns to police.
The rewards for such information have been increased to as much as 10,000 yuan (US$1,300).
He said police would continue their efforts to collect illegal guns and ammunition in the second half of the year.
As of Monday, 4,231 guns, 6,497 bullets, 6,927 kg of explosive, 6,386 detonators, 3,921 m of blasting fuse and 19,077 illegal knives had been collected under a province-wide campaign that was launched in March.
On Wednesday, more than 3,000 guns were melted down in a furnace at Guangzhou Steelworks. Residents handed over 345 guns voluntarily.
From March to June 25, police investigated 191 cases of illegal gun ownership and use. Four criminal gangs that produced, sold, used or owned guns were busted, and 243 suspects were detained.
He said the campaign had allowed police to rein in the once-active market for illegal weapons.
Most of the guns were collected in Guangzhou, Zhuhai, Maoming, Zhaoqing, Zhanjiang and Shaoguan.
In May and April, police in Guangzhou raided two illegal gun factories in the city's Liwan and Haizhu districts.
Twenty suspects were detained, and 199 guns, 2,388 bullets and large amounts of illegal knives, explosive and related products were seized.
On May 22, Zhuhai police cracked a big gun case, detaining eight suspects and seizing six pistols, a rifle, many bullets and illegal knives.
(China Daily June 29, 2007)