Possessing air rifles or toy guns in China can result in imprisonment for years

Chinese tourists are flocking to gun ranges in the USA due to the heavy restrictions on firearms in China.

As reported by USA Today, marksman Dickson Wong has been arranging tours for Chinese gun enthusiasts to travel to DeSoto County, Fla, allowing them to shoot at firing ranges.

China currently imposes heavy restrictions on firearms. Possession of air rifles or toy guns can result in years of jail time.

“It’s a place Chinese can go to experience real gun culture,” Wong, 38, said. “It’s impossible to shoot here.”

It is estimated that tens of thousands of wealth Chinese travel to the US each year to shoot. Wong hopes to capture a slice of that demand when he opens his own state-of-the-art gun club in 2019.

Wong’s club will feature luxury accommodation and Chinese-speaking instructors. He hopes to attract 5,000 Chinese tourists per year.

Lax laws regulating firearms in the US has resulted in the gun tourism business blossoming. USA Today adds that Honolulu attracts target shooters from Japan as gun-control restrictions in Japan are strict.

Currently, Wong owns a gun shop in Beijing, through which he sells camouflage gear, holsters and T-shirts quoting the US Constitution’s Second Amendment. However, arms themselves aren’t found in his shop as it is illegal to manufacture or sell them in China for private use.

Possession of a firearm in China can carry a prison sentence of up to seven years. Nonetheless, police have reported that websites such as Armshead and Ironblood that allow people to trade gun-related news and images have enabled people to sell replica arms.

Whilst the Chinese government claims to uphold its gun restrictions for public safety, critics claim their decision to do so is to prevent rebellions.

“The Chinese government took away people’s guns to prevent them rising up,” said Zhou Xiaozheng, a sociologist at Renmin University. “Do you think they would be able to demolish peoples’ homes if they hadn’t?” he said, referring to the government’s broad right to seize private property.

No official figures have been reported for gun-related deaths in China, but media reported only 25 last year. In comparison, 13,286 people were killed in the US by firearms in 2015.