5 charged as online air-gun trafficking ring cracked

Five people have been charged with selling air guns through WeChat.

Five people have been charged with trafficking air guns on WeChat, Jinshan District prosecutors say. 

The alleged ringleader, surnamed He, a gun enthusiast, was accused of posting pictures and videos related to air guns on WeChat Moments to find buyers. 

Once he received orders, he would buy gun parts from different suppliers, also via WeChat, and ask them to directly send parcels via express delivery to buyers to avoid being noticed by police. He gave buyers instructions on how to assemble a gun, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said the most important part, the barrel, was made by He’s father-in-law, surnamed Shen. Another relative helped in transportation, prosecutors said.

He allegedly started his underground business in July 2017. When police nabbed him and his two relatives, they found more than 200 gun barrels and many other gun parts.

In September 2017, police tracked down two buyers. One of them, surnamed Xie, said he had used the gun to hunt wildlife when he returned to his hometown.

Authorities gave no further details.

Making, owning and trading guns is strictly regulated in China. Ordinary people are banned from owning any firearm and illegal traffickers face up to the death sentence.

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