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Kunming police now permitted to carry sidearms

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Kunming police officers have been granted permission by both the national and provincial Ministries of Public Security to carry firearms while on duty. Several articles published in Yunnan newspapers have announced the move, which breaks with 65 years of law enforcement tradition in the Spring City dating back to the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949.

Officers tasked with patrolling neighborhoods throughout Kunming have typically never carried firearms, although they could be temporarily issued weapons in emergency situations. In many cases, detectives were allowed to carry guns on a daily basis but not regular beat cops. That is now changing, but officers must first undergo additional training stressing "combat tactics" as well as under what conditions they have the legal right to discharge their weapons.

An interview published on the official Kunming Public Security Bureau WeChat account states that there are a total of 15 instances when any armed police officer in China can fire a weapon. Most of these involve large scale threats to public security involving the use of "guns, hazardous or toxic chemicals or explosives". However, more common crimes, such as armed robbery, arson, homicide, and "mob" fights have also been deemed viable situations for gun use by police, provided they issue verbal warnings in advance. Officers handling guns must meet national certification standards and receive 16 hours of instruction per year before being licensed for a weapon.

The gun in question is called the "05 Chinese Police Revolver" and has been issued to an increasing number of police departments across the country. The sidearm is intentionally unique to China, firing nine-millimeter bullets from a revolver setup instead of from a clip. According to a lengthy Wall Street Journal write-up:

Named for the year it was developed, the police revolver[,] with a length of 186 millimeters and weight of 650 grams[,] is designed to fire 9-millimeter-caliber ammunition, of both the rubber and regular varieties. Sometimes fitted with a wooden grip, the six-shooter is accurate up to 25 meters and is considered simple to operate, reliable and durable.

In addition to having a limited six-shot capacity, the revolvers each have their own identification number and are only assigned to one person. When on duty, police officers are required to clip guns to their belts via an extendable cord. They are also required to check firearms in and out at police stations at the beginning and end of each work day.

Kunming is the most recent city in China to announce it will issue sidearms to members of its public security apparatus. The move comes following a nationwide edict allowing police to be armed that was issued by Beijing in April 2014. The change in law enforcement policy is directly linked to rising concern over public security across the country following mass attacks at train stations.

The first of these was a shocking knife rampage in Kunming in early March that left 29 civilians dead and 130 injured. More recently, in Xinjiang's capital Urumqi, another coordinated attack involving an apparent suicide bomber was carried out, killing one bystander. The national policy allowing police to carry guns was put to the test almost immediately when police opened fire at the Guangzhou Railway Station after at least two men began indiscriminately stabbing travelers on the morning of May 6.

Image: CCTV

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Guess that makes sleeping on the job a dangerous pastime for Kunming cops

This is not a good thing...

@mPRin, I agree. It only ups the ante for the criminal. Now they are more likely to carry.

I saw a police car weaving around an empty road like the driver was drunk yesterday. Giving them guns is just an accident waiting to happen...

Giving guns to Kunming police puts more pressure on them to be professional. For sure a few will get drunk and shoot people in bars etc, but they will lose their jobs and this will improve the level of the Kunming police force. Darwin theory in action?

To be fair, it was the Uighur terrorists that up'd the ante. Kunming police went unarmed till these train incidents. Lives were saved in the latest Guangzhou station knife attack because of armed officers. Only six injured vs hundreds and 29 dead for us. Am I happy there is now an arms race between police and terrorists? No, but I'm not going to deny the police firearms while assailants are willing to butcher innocent people.

They should arm them with tazers.

Tazers and or rubber bullets would be a better choice.... Beat cops in kunming are a joke..

Yeah, I can imagine in a few months they disarm all the cops in Kunming after 12 incidences of them shooting themselves, 18 accidental shootings (playing with their guns or cleaning them when loaded), 3 dead civilians (walking past when playing with their guns), 28 necessary cover-ups (when the police use the weapon for shooting people they don't like) and 35 lost pistols (where they were stolen from sleeping cops). The authorities decide Kunming is safer if the cops don't have guns even with the threat of terrorism.

(Actually I hope none of this comes to pass, but I can imagine!)

At least now its easy to determine who is real cop and who is just a guard in a cops dress. (A common practice). It was fairly easy to distinguish the legal-fake cops though: they had too long trousers, a cig in the hand, walked slow and looked kinda sluggish.

Anyway a few words here. Chinese police should be put in an "Asia"-Asian perspective, and there they rank high in competence. Anyone not satisfied with the Chinese police should try to deal with e.g. Vietnamese policemen. Those guys you _do not_ want to deal with. (Unless you are relative with highest officials around.) Same goes for a good deal of other neighboring countries around here.

Many 'security guards' not real police ride around in e-bike that says 'police' on them when they are clearly not real police. Isn't that impersonating an officer? It's a joke!

I saw an armed police on Beimen. He was carrying a pistol with a bullet magazine clip not a revolver.

Great, now the guns will arrive in numbers, will be sold by policemen or stolen by criminals and then you and your family will be shot on the crossfire between policemen and criminals.
I can only imagine how happy those young (and old) policemen are to finally have guns as a macho way to compensate for their small winnies.

Just what this city needed. Now we have to walk with a bullet proof vest and pray before we leave our houses.

I agree with blobbles. Accidents can, and will happen. I wouldn't trust putting a lethal weapon in the hands of Chinese police, who some have their jobs thanks to mom and dad's connections.

Another thing to point out is the young thugs in the force. I'm not sure if they're in Chengguan, or in police. I've heard about "gangs" in the security force that don't like foreigners.

You have to remember there are 2 sides of government in China. 1 is liberal and pro-capitalist. The other is neo-Maoist that dislike westerners and western things.

Also, I totally agree with a point someone said about criminals increasing firepower. Everything is a balance. When police get guns, the criminals will too. IF China manages to impose such strict bans on firepower, then we should fear the police because eventually one of them will get power hungry holding a killing machine in the palm of their hands.

Well, it's notorious that here in China there are many police officers that dislike westerners.

Just try joining a gym near xiaoximen, you will see some police roided dwarf gangs at your local gym with napoleon complexes giving you an evil eye for being stronger/taller than them.

Those idiots (when in a group) are famous for giving foreign fellas the evil eye.
Rejoice, next time you are having fun at wenling jie or kundu and an unrelated violence thing breaks out, you will be a moving target for those dumb police officers who will fire first, no questions asked ( specially if you have a hot gf).

^ Making racist comments to denounce racism. That's original.

yeah but there's a big difference between getting "the evil eye" (ie subtle hostility - which I get about once a week) and being gunned down. if people get killed for no apparent reason, this will cause a backlash from the population. that's why some countries are against the use of firearms by police. at least that's my understanding, simple dull creature that I am.

Honestly, they should only issue rubber bullets and other non-lethal ammo. Some of these cities are the most populated on earth, consisting of different nationalities, and China is known for it's inhumanity in western media. By issuing non-lethal ammo, they would be preventing fatalities. IF there's another incident at a train station, isn't it better to have the suspects alive for questioning rather than killing them and then trying to build the puzzle afterwards?

My impression is that 'rubber' bullets are pretty good at stopping people. Anybody out there with relevant military/police experience?


Accidental discharge of police gun kills man in Qujing area. The police arrived after lunch without uniforms and in a unplated van....but the report confirms the shooter had not been drinking.

A week or two ago the Zhaotong police killed a truck driver who was protesting against a land compensation case. Over 100 eyewitnesses signed a protest report saying the police did not need to shoot.

So giving guns to Yunnan police has gotten some fast results. If you go by the rapidly decreasing level of compentence and education of officials from central, provincial to county levels then I can only guess that police at the lower levels of the administration arent given much training before they are let loose on the streets with guns.

But you feel safer right yuantongsi?

Having an armed gang of untrained idiots running around the streets vs the occasional threat of terrorist activity (which incidentally is likely to still happen, it might just not involve as many civilian deaths... or may involve more as a result).

One thing I do know - if you are around any criminal activity (i.e. you see someone doing something illegal, a car chase or the police trying to catch a pick pocket etc) don't hang around. Run like hell the other way or lay flat, I can just imagine some young police try-hard yanking out his pistol and spraying the suspect and anyone else around them with as many bullets as he can. Then boasting to his mates later in the station about the great work he is doing and not receiving any sort of punishment for killing/maiming civilians. The civilian deaths will be written off as "accidental discharge" no doubt.

These officers watch a lot of police shows on T.V. and I'm sure many want to be like the characters on TV. Many life in a fantasy world of what a cop should be.

I'm with blobbles all the way, and now thumbs up on Liumingke1234. Chinese love to copy so much, that when they watch tv they begin living in a fantasy world. Ever heard of some Japanese anime being banned due to people recreating the fictional stories? I heard some people watched Deathnote, and actually began murdering their classmates in schools years ago. I'm sure the same follows for watching live action television shows.

Everyone remembers all the "gangnam style" parodies, but what I found absolutely ridiculous was people IN CHINA making an "aircraft carrier style" by mimicking the gestures of the ground crew signaling the pilot to take off after watching it on tv. There were entire university dorms doing it, businessmen, some policemen, etc. Something I would expect from a 5 yr old. After working in universities, I've come to realize University life in China is similar to middle or highschool. People do some things that leave you scratching your head, chuckling, and wondering if you're teaching mature students or a group of tall 5 yr olds?

to Yankee: Was this addressed at me? What did I say that was racist?

BTW, I agree with Bobbles and Liumingke; people who have no self-identity (the norm today) and get hold of power (guns) will try to emulate fiction as a way of developing an identity, even if it's a fictional or false one. Just wait until those police officer start acting like movie actors.

Again, to yankee: I read my posts again and couldn't pinpoint anything I said that was racist. Was it because I said that those gym rats have napoleon complexes (compensating for being short)? If so, get real, this is a worldwide phenomena.

All worth considering, although it's all speculation. Anyway, although local cops may not particularly like foreigners, I don't notice anything I'd call the evil eye - just the expectation of possible verbal trouble if they have to deal with them. I think the implication that foreigners would be likely targets of choice in some melee is highly unlikely.

The link above about the trucker - well, okay, not merely speculation. The other link I couldn't access - Mindcops on patrol, or just a bad link?


The police shot at some ebike thieves, one of the bullets went through a public bus,,luckily no one was hurt, lucky lucky.

Location Wenlin Jie area.

@yuantongsi: I agree, a little scary - shooting at people for stealing an ebike is a bit much, especially around a public bus.

Clearly a lack of training. Armed police all over the world are taught to only fire in situations where the public is not in danger from stray bullets.

It looks like my comment above is coming to pass...

But of course! They need to try out their new toys!Pathetic.

Wow at the location on film most days, glad to have missed the trouble!
Think they need to know can't just shoot in any situation......

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