Draft law to restrict gun trade
By VIVIEN PIK-KWAN CHAN
A DRAFT law on gun control was submitted yesterday to the NPC Standing Committee for scrutiny.
The legislation stipulates that anyone who manufactures, purchases or transports guns without government permission, or smuggles firearms into the country, could face the death penalty.
It also restricts the scope of cadres permitted to carry guns, and has provisions for annual reviews of gun-ownership registration and measures to tighten the import and export of guns.
'Widespread abuses of guns have seriously threatened the country's law and order,' Xinhua (the New China News Agency) quoted Public Security Vice-Minister Mou Xinsheng as telling legislators.
The sale of military firearms was also critical, he added.
Poor control over China's huge munitions industry, the three million-strong People's Liberation Army and more than a million police officers have given criminal gangs easy access to a wide range of weapons.
Two other draft laws - the National Defence Law and the amended Archive Law - were also submitted to the National People's Congress committee for deliberation yesterday.
Defence Minister General Chi Haotian told legislators that the formulation of the National Defence Law was a 'significant step' in the consolidation and strengthening of the national defence.
It reflected the peace-oriented principles of China's defence policy which helped to create a favourable external environment for the reform and opening-up drive.