|In the first nine months this year, district police seized more than 400 handmade guns, said Dao Ngoc Thuy, head of the Social Order Police Team under the Van Yen District Police. — Photo tuoitre
YEN BAI (VNS) — Handmade guns are gaining popularity in the northern province of Yen Bai's Van Yen District, especially in mountainous communes.
In the first nine months this year, district police seized more than 400 handmade guns, said Dao Ngoc Thuy, head of the Social Order Police Team under the Van Yen District Police.
The guns appeared in the district at the beginning of last year. Making a gun takes only two or three hours and utilises materials that many locals have on hand, like bicycle pumps and pesticide spraying spouts. Iron ball bearings are used as bullets.
The gun looked simple, but it had a 30m range and had already injured several locals, said Thuy.
Ban Thi Chan, who lives in Vien Son Commune's Thac Cai 2 Village, said that eight months had passed since her five-year-old son was shot in the head by such a gun, and he was still frightened by recurrent nightmares of the shooting.
Chan's son Dang Quy Lam was shot last November by some village youths out hunting for birds. The bullet hit Lam's skull in a dangerous place so that surgery could not be conducted to take it out.
"I hope that people using handmade guns will give them to the police to avoid causing danger for others," Chan said.
On May 28, Duong Minh Tuan from Hoang Thang Commune used a handmade gun to shoot a construction worker on the Noi Bai-Lao Cai Highway when a personal conflict arose. The worker suffered serious injuries. After searching Tuan's house, the police seized two airguns and one handmade gun.
Police chief Thuy said that district police would join commune and town authorities to raise awareness. When residents understood producing and using handmade guns was illegal, they would volunteer to hand in the guns to the police. — VNS