Military fan granted bail after 199 days of detention over illegal replica guns

Updated 2017-02-17 09:29:36 Global Times

A Liaoning man was released on Wednesday on bail after 199 days in police detention for illegally possessing firearms.

The trial of Yu Meng, a 39-year-old military fan from Anshan, Northeast China's Liaoning Province, has been postponed by Anshan's Tiedong district court, the Beijing Times reported on Thursday.

Yu's lawyer Yan Xin asked for the delay so the defense can gather evidence. Yan argued that bail should be granted as Yu did not show "malice."

Police searched Yu's home in August 2016 after receiving a tip-off and found nine replica guns, five of which were found to meet China's strict legal definition of a firearm. Yu was then taken into police custody.

"I collect imitation tanks, jets and guns, simply to collect them. I did not realize this could violate any laws," Yu was quoted by the Beijing Times as saying on Thursday.

Yu said he bought some of the replicas from "an Anshan store" and some online.

Many have landed themselves in hot water for buying replica guns or using guns that are considered toys in other parts of the world but are seen as deadly weapons in China.

According to the current legal definition of a firearm, guns able to fire bullets with a kinetic force of over 1.8 joules per square centimeter - less than it takes to pierce human skin - are illegal.

Zhao Chunhua, a 51-year-old Tianjin woman, was given three and a half years in jail in December 2016, when police found the guns at her balloon-shooting stall were illegal.

Zhao was granted a three-year suspended sentence on appeal on January 26.

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