Newly armed Chinese police fear using guns

Many patrol officers who are now carrying guns haven't fired shot since the police academy

By William Wan and Xu Jing
The Washington Post

BEIJING — In response to terrorism threats, China recently lifted a decade-long ban on police guns and began issuing firearms to officers for the first time across the country.

A retired officer from Hangzhou City suggested there're tricky issues of pride at play.

In the past, police were praised for daring to confront criminals without firearms, he said. And whenever bad guys got away or a situation spiraled out of control, police could always fall back on the excuse that they were unarmed, unlike police in many countries.

"Now that they have guns, they're in a tighter spot," said the retired officer. "If you shoot, the public may question whether it was necessary. If you don't, they may say, 'You can't even control criminals with the power of  a gun?'"

Full Story: Newly armed police in China say they fear their guns as much as public

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