A man has been detained in China for two years—his crime was buying plastic model guns and water guns. And netizens are furious.

Sohu recently reported that the Guangzhou Intermediate People’s Court issued a first-instance criminal judgment in the case of Mo Jianbo (莫剑波), rejecting his appeal and upholding the original sentence. Mo Jianbo, 27, was previously found guilty of illegally possessing firearms by the Liwan District Court, Guangzhou, for keeping six model guns with plastic BB bullets. The model gun was determined to be a non-standard firearm; he was exempt from criminal prosecution and had his gun confiscated in accordance with the law. Mo Jianbo considered himself innocent and chose to appeal.

This case has been going on for two years, and Mo Jianbo has also been held in a detention center for two years.

On September 17, 2020, police in Liwan District, Guangzhou, found 22 gun-like objects at Mo Jianbo’s residence. The police use the term “gun-like object” because they are embarrassed themselves, as according to information in the press, most of them are “model guns or water guns.”

However, Mo Jianbo was detained on charges of “illegal production and sale of weapons.” After the so-called identification, 6 of the 22 guns were the non-standard class of guns that fired projectiles using compressed air. However, these were purchased by Mo Jianbo from shops and stalls near Yide Road (一德路), Yuexiu District (越秀区), Guangzhou.

According to the court’s recommendation, if Mo Jianbo had honestly confessed to his crime, he could receive a lighter punishment, which could have been handled leniently under the law. In summary, the court recommended that Mo Jianbo be sentenced to three years.

Just like that, Mo Jianbo has now lost his freedom for almost two years and was convicted for buying a few BB guns from a street stall. This absurd news immediately ignited the fury of countless mainland netizens. In just a short time, there were more than 260,000 comments.

The comment most liked was “Encourage boys to play with dolls and jump rope,” which more than 40,000 people supported.

Others pointed directly to the beating of Tangshan and asked the suspect, “What crime should Chen Jizhi (陈继志) be guilty of?” Nearly 30,000 netizens liked and supported that comment.

Another said: “Can only laugh. In 5 years, it is estimated that there will be slingshot cases. This comment also received nearly 20,000 likes from netizens.

One netizen replied: “Own two slingshots, potentially life imprisonment.”

Another said: “Why are the BB bullets we played with as children now becoming weapons? Do we have to go to jail for arms trafficking?”

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