air guns
Shanghai Daily

Bizarre News of the Week: Chinese Woman Narrowly Avoids 3 Years in Jail for Novelty Air Guns

In China, a 51-year-old woman was supposed to spend almost four years in jail over air guns.

In case you've ever wondered how strict China's gun control laws are, this latest news serves as a prime example. A Chinese woman is out of jail after originally being sentenced to three and a half years in prison for illegal possession of some air guns.

51-year-old Zhao Chunhua purchased the guns for use in a novelty balloon-shooting game she owned. The Global Times reports Chunhua was jailed back in October, along with 13 other owners of similar games in Tianjin.

China has some pretty stringent rules on what constitutes an illegal firearm. Shanghai Daily reports that any gun capable of firing a projectile at a force over 1.8 joules per square centimeter is considered a "real" firearm. (For perspective, a 9mm handgun fires with the force of 519 joules). Authorities found six guns owned by Chunhua that were in violation of that restriction.

Fortunately for Chunhua, while she admitted her guilt in the case, she was able to win an appeal for her release after a court found she actually had no criminal intent in owning the weapons.

In perhaps another showing of just how restrictive China's gun culture is, Reuters reports a released court statement announced that Chunhua had "deeply reflected on the harm her action had caused society."

Talk about a difference in cultures when compared to the U.S.!