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May 22, 2014

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Trio receive prison sentences for trading in replica firearms

THREE people who traded in air guns and replica firearms yesterday received jail sentences at the Jinshan District People’s Court.

The main offender, a man surnamed Cai in his twenties from southern China’s Guangdong Province, was jailed for 10 and a half years for illegally trading guns and ammunition.

Cai’s wife, surnamed Chen, also from Guangdong, was given a three-year sentence, suspended for four years, as an accessory to her husband’s crimes.

The court showed Chen leniency as the couple’s child is less than a year old.

A stallholder in Jinshan, surnamed Niu, was sentenced to three years imprisonment, suspended for five years, for illegally trading guns.

In late 2012, Niu, a native of neighboring Anhui Province, began buying toys at low prices from Cai, who he’d met through the QQ instant messaging service.

After several deals, Cai offered to sell him replica firearms and air guns.

“I didn’t make much money with the stall and was attracted by his suggestion,” Niu told the court.

Niu bought more than 100 replica guns between July and September 2013, hiding them in a warehouse.

In September, a young man who had bought a steel ball firing gun from Niu alerted police after realizing the consequences of illegal possession of guns

Officers raided Niu’s premises on October 9, seizing more than 100 replica guns, plus axes, knives and iron bars.

Six of the replica guns were identified as compressed gas powered and could cause injuries, said the Shanghai police material evidence appraisal center.

Then on October 28, police held Cai and Chen.

They had sold more than 2,000 imitation guns between December 2012 and October 2013, including replicas of rifles and sniper rifles which could cause injury and death, the court heard.

The couple had also bought some 100 boxes of air gun pellets to sell.

Their alleged suppliers of the guns have been arrested, it was reported.


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