China: Traffic cops get machine guns

Do Chinese street cops need more weapons? On the same day earlier this month that it was reported urban riot police in one southern city were undergoing training to use crossbows, a new program began in south-central China's Chongqing Municipality which, in addition to handguns and bulletproof vests, would see traffic police there equipped with machine guns every night after nine for the purpose of carrying out drunk driving and traffic violation spot checks.

Sina blogger Zhou Pengan who made the two-city connection above points out that current police firearm regulations make it illegal for machine guns to be used in routine traffic control work. The People's Police—quite different in nature from the People's Armed Police—Wikipedia entry puts the usage limit for lethal weapons at [to] “be used if necessary to stop violent riots, to lessen the overall loss of life, or to subdue surrounded but still resisting criminals. The regulations even governed use of sirens, police lights, and whistles.”

Zhou opines:


As a riot cop, dealing with all sorts of outburst incidents, being equipped with a weapon or two is going to be very necessary for you, but what advantage comes with using upgraded versions of the crossbows our ancestors had in controlling riots? If you hoped to avoid killing people, you'd use tear gas, and it'd be much more effective; if you do plan on shooting people dead, then yeah, guns would obviously be more effective.

The latter news received quite a bit of coverage, and no shortage of discussion. Sina, via, did a poll [photos included] on support for gun-toting traffic police, the response choices for which read:

1) I don't support this. Driving and walking at gunpoint is just too terrifying.
2) I support this. It's in accordance with the law and at the same time establishes police authority and deters crime, adding to citizens’ sense of security.
3) Whatever.


Readers of one post on this at the WHXF bbs left the following select comments:


I'm really deterred! Won't be drinking and driving from now on; if I forget my license? Aiyee, gotta stay alive.


Just declare martial law and be done with it; the streets must be full of the enemy anyway, right?


I suggest they start using mortar fire; citizens will be more reassured.


Forcing harmony through terror


A gun for everyone, that'll be some good “river crab


Besides the Armed Police, now we have Armed Traffic Police?

Writes one reader of the report at the NewsSSC bbs:


And the top comments left at Netease's report:


Haha, anyone in violation of regulations gets shot. Those are some scary cops.

重庆有那么乱吗? 查个车还要持冲锋枪!!!晕!!!!

Is Chongqing so messed up? They need machine guns just to check cars?!? Faint!!!!


Now you know what crime's like these days. Even traffic cops get guns. This isn't America yo, where everyone does have a gun.


They should give each of them a hand grenade too, now that would be some real power!


Anyone who breaks the rules gets shot on the spot


  • Charles Liu

    John, police carrying machine gun is old news here in the States:

  • Charles Liu: Do you have a point?

  • Inst

    I think what he thinks is what is implied is that China is a violent and barbaric country, and if assault-rifled traffic cops prove that China is a violent and barbaric country, then the United States must also be a violent and barbaric country.

    Of course, these aren’t exactly the same, the NYC copper was probably part of a counter-terrorism unit, while in China it’s just traffic cops.

  • mahathir_fan

    The point is that China is a backward country and we need to learn from more advance countries like the USA. If the USA sees a need for its police force to carry machine guns, then China ought to learn from the US and train its police to use machine guns too.

    On the other hand, i can guarantee you that traffic cops in China will not carry machine guns in safe regions. I challenge John Kennedy to follow up on this and show evidence of traffic cops in Congqing carrying machine guns while writing parking tickets. A photograph will do.

    The training is merely for their know how. So that they can be versatile and be transfered from one divison to another.

  • Chongqing’s traffic cops are carrying machine guns in fear of more public uprisings.

  • Knights

    I do not live in China, but if I have to choose, I’d prefer USA cops to carry machine guns than some kids or chidzos carrying machin guns to schools and roaming the roads. . ..

  • chan

    From ABC News
    Legislator Proposes Having Teachers Carry Guns
    Wisconsin Proposal Would Allow Teachers to Carry Concealed Weapons
    Oct. 5, 2006
    After the deadly school shootings in Colorado, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, one legislator has proposed a plan that would actually put more guns in schools.

    If teacher and student can carry guns to school, it is reasonable for Police carrying Guns. There are a lot of Police carrying Machine Guns in many other countries for security purpose.

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