The gun control debate is totally fired up. What about plastic replicas? Well, China is destroying them.
In a recent speech, President Obama referenced China, where firearms are heavily regulated by law. His original words were: “Some of you may recall at the same time that Sandy Hook happened, a disturbed person in China took a knife and tried to kill — with a knife — a bunch of children in China, but most of them survived because he didn't have access to a powerful weapon.”
China is facing its own share of challenges as well, one of them being plastic replicas.
Earlier this week, local police in Chenghai, Shantou — a major toy manufacturing hub — announced that they destroyed 320,000 plastic replica guns.
The police said the local toy industry has been taken advantage of by criminals who set up assembly and distribution operations there. A major crack-down was put in place last year and has since arrested a total of 162 suspects and confiscated 320,000 guns.
The plastic guns were grounded into pieces by construction vehicles in a public session and then reportedly melted down at local plastics factories.
It's illegal to make and sell replica guns in China, but the purchase of them is technically still in a gray area. Nevertheless, the judicial system has been very heavy-handed on related cases. Last fall, a 19-year-old man in Sichuan province was sentenced to life in prison for buying two dozen replica guns from an overseas website. He was charged with firearms smuggling even though he argued those were toy guns. The ruling was based on a government evaluation that concluded that 20 of the guns were powerful enough to cause injuries.