Guns at home in china


Does anyone else find the “FACTS” in ths Reuters story hard to believe?

"U.S. citizens own 270 million of the world’s 875 million known firearms, according to the Small Arms Survey 2007 by the Geneva-based Graduate Institute of International Studies.

About 4.5 million of the 8 million new guns manufactured worldwide each year are purchased in the United States, it said.

“There is roughly one firearm for every seven people worldwide. Without the United States, though, this drops to about one firearm per 10 people,” it said.

India had the world’s second-largest civilian gun arsenal, with an estimated 46 million firearms outside law enforcement and the military, though this represented just four guns per 100 people there. China, ranked third with 40 million privately held guns, had 3 firearms per 100 people.

Germany, France, Pakistan, Mexico, Brazil and Russia were next in the ranking of country’s overall civilian gun arsenals.

On a per-capita basis, Yemen had the second most heavily armed citizenry behind the United States, with 61 guns per 100 people, followed by Finland with 56, Switzerland with 46, Iraq with 39 and Serbia with 38.

France, Canada, Sweden, Austria and Germany were next, each with about 30 guns per 100 people, while many poorer countries often associated with violence ranked much lower. Nigeria, for instance, had just one gun per 100 people".

Private civilian guns at home in CHINA ?

When I was in the Soviet Union “private” guns had to be kept at a shooting club. Maybe the definition is similar in China. NOT AMERICAN IDEA OF OWNERSHIP!

Does anyone else have the feeling that these folks just make up such numbers?


There is a VAST difference between the “official” numbers of guns in a given country and the ACTUAL numbers of guns in that country; in Canada, the “official” number was always given as approx. 6 million firearms in a country of ~30 million people, but this was the MINIMUM figure given in a 1975 government estimate (their figure at that time went from a minimum of 6 million to a maximum of 20 million, with a “most likely” number of around 14 million).
When the Liberals passed their “universal gun registration” bill, they used the “only 6 million” figure to try to minimize the costs, and said it would only cost $82 million to register every gun in Canada. The costs so far are in the neighbourhood of TWO BILLION dollars, with somewhere around 12 million guns registered, and there could easily be more than twice that many guns actually in Canada (with a known net import of around 1/4 million per year).


In chapter 7 of “The Gun Digest Book of Assault Weapons, All New 4th Edition” (copyright MCMXCVI) J.D. Jones and Larry Kelly of SSK Industries and Mag-Na-Port respectively, write of their experience at the Beijing Rifle Club. They make reference to the “People’s Militia” and to seeing as J.D. Jones describes: “Gun control? I don’t know much about it, But I saw individuals in the city bicycling toward the range with rifles carried across the handlebars”. Apparently some private gun ownership exists in China, but in what context and in what numbers is a good question.



Ah… how China has changed. 10 years ago everyone was on bikes, today on the streets of Beijing, you will not see any (EVERYONE drives cars - but not particularly well - crossing the road is a life changing experience), let alone seeing a person with a rifle strapped to a bike (perhaps an airgun… definately not a rifle). Offically citizens are not allowed to own or sell firearms… but it happens anyway… with a population over a billion, there’s bound to be some people who like their guns. apparently last year alone, over 170,000 firearms were confiscated from civillians. The days of the people’s militia are over - China’s military doctrine no longer is based off the “people’s war concept”.

I have been to a military range in beijing which is opened to tourists. Back in the day you could fire off RPGS, AA guns, even the occasional mortar. Not sure if they still allow that though!

Selling illegal firearms is punishable by death usually by a shot to the head. I am not sure if they still charge the family the cost of the bullet.

So I suppose private ownership exists, but it is illegal. One has to remember that “firearms” may be of poor zip-gun quality. Also, some of the semi-autonomous regions (eg Xinjiang) on the periphery may have a more lax approach to gun ownership than in the cities. However, military weapons do find their way onto the black market.

some more reading: … 68861.html

In Hong Kong, which is part of China but has a seperate goverment, private ownership of firearms is very limited - it is next to impossible to own a firearm, let alone store it in your apartment. However, there have been IPSC, IDPA, and olympic shooters and the occasional hunters (we still have wild boars running around sometimes) that have managed to get firearm permits. they are far and few between however. Gun deaths in Hong Kong are extrodinarily rare. In the 1990s there was a spate of shootings with robbers with Ak-47s and Blackstar pistols (TT-33s) smuggled from the mainland, but those days seem to be over.

Interestingly, apparently Swiss expatriates have (or had) an arrangement with the Hong Kong goverment to allow them to bring in their service rifles (Sig 550s) and practice with them once a year, since they are required to qualify every so often. I believe the pratice still continues!

Edit to add:
My goodness, how times have changed. I just dug out my copy of The “Gun Digest of Assault Weapons, 4th Edition” and Larry Kelly and JD Jone’s description of Beijing is like a totally different world compared to today’s Beijing. China was truely still just opening up from communism at that time of that article…
I must have gone to the same range as them! When i was there however, they had clamps that held down the muzzles of the rifles while people shot, restricting their movement. Apparently, some poor bloke got shot when a shooter flinched and pointed his muzzle in direction other than downrange…


Thank you for the detailed information. It would be something to find a US range where one could fire a rocket launcher. Breaking gun laws in China sounds to me like a good way to become an organ donor. Much statistical information is no more than imagination on the part of people trying to support a theory or political agenda.