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Shooting gallery owner given three-year suspended sentence

THE owner of a roadside shooting gallery in Tianjin, who was charged for illegal gun possession, was given a three-year suspended sentence by Tianjin No. 1 Intermediate  People’s Court today.

The 51-year-old woman Zhao Chunhua had been operating a small balloon shooting stall in Tianjin from August to October last year. She was arrested on October 12. Among the guns police seized, six were identified as real guns.

Zhao was then charged for illegal gun possession, and was given three and a half years of jail term by Tianjin Hebei District People’s Court on December 27. The sentence attracted large amount of attention and discussion in the public, who debated about the criteria for legally defining guns.

According to a 2010 Ministry of Public Security document on firearms identification, unauthorized guns that can fire bullets with a force of over or equal to 1.8 joules per square centimeter are considered illegal firearms.

The force of the six guns owned by Zhao ranged from 2.17 to 3.14 joules per square centimeter, exceeding the statutory standard, according to Hebei District People’s Court.

Zhao appealed the verdict, and Tianjin No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court held a second trial today. According to the court, Zhao used the guns for business operation and did not have any intention to commit crime. Her manners caused limited negative influence to the society.

The procurator said Zhao admitted to her crime with a positive attitude, and asked for a suspended sentence from the court.

Zhao accepted the three-year sentence with three years of suspension. Her family members also attended the trial today.


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