Cabinet Approves Bill to Punish Encouraging Gun Ownership

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Half-rifle gun

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The government adopted at a Cabinet meeting Friday a bill to impose penalties against the act of explaining how to manufacture guns on the internet and inciting unlawful possession of such weapons.

The bill to revise the Firearms and Swords Control Law is also aimed at toughening requirements to qualify for possessing a so-called half-rifle gun, which was used in the murder of a police officer in Nagano Prefecture in May.

The government plans to submit the bill to the ongoing Diet session in hope of preventing serious gun crimes, following the gun attack in Nagano and the 2022 deadly shooting of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe with a handmade gun.

The bill carries a penalty of up to one year in prison or a fine of up to ¥300,000 for openly encouraging gun ownership, including by posting gun-making videos or blueprints for 3D-printed guns on the internet.

Firing hunting or handmade guns will also become punishable under the revised law.

The revised law will have a new provision to punish the possession of hunting or handmade guns if the owners possess them for killing or injuring others.

To own half-rifles, which are currently allowed to be possessed by beginners, people will be required to have a record of possessing a hunting gun license for at least 10 consecutive years.