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Police detain 24 buyers of illegal lethal crossbows

(Global Times)

09:18, March 19, 2013

Beijing police have tracked down 31 crossbow buyers and confiscated 38 crossbows since March.

Zi Xiangdong, media officer from the Municipal Public Security Bureau (PSB)confirmed Monday that Beijing Police had acted to impound the crossbows.

"Crossbows have always been banned and purchasing and selling them is illegal," said Zi.

All the crossbow owners were young men, who purchased crossbows on the Internet using cash, the PSB told the Beijing Morning Post Monday.

Of the 31 owners, 24 were detained, and the other seven were cautioned and reminded that their actions were illegal.

"Individuals buying or selling crossbows is not allowed. My suggestions to people addicted to crossbows is to go to shooting clubs," an anonymous officer from the Beijing Public Order Corps told the Global Times Monday.

According to the Ministry of Public Security, crossbows are defined as items of high lethality which should be strictly controlled, and their production, trade and use is not allowed without permission from provincial-level public security departments.

But crossbows are still available from many Internet stores, ranging in price from 300 yuan ($48) for a local-made pistol-style crossbow to 45,000 yuan for a rifle-style crossbow imported from the US equipped with night vision goggles.

"We'll send components to customers and you assemble them on your own. The accuracy of these crossbows can be guaranteed from 40 to 150 meters," said an anonymous customer service staff from an online crossbow store.

According to crossbow fan forums, most owners use them for hunting, but they are also preferred by criminals.

On December 1, 2012, Tianjin police said they caught a suspect who had allegedly used a crossbow to shoot syringes at passers-by, according to CNTV, while China News Radio reported on January 10 that two men in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region were arrested for hunting 12 dogs with crossbows and anesthetic needles.

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