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HOME  > Past issues  > 2013 April 10 - 16  > Letting civilians hold guns is illegal: citizens file complaint against SDF
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2013 April 10 - 16 [SDF]

Letting civilians hold guns is illegal: citizens file complaint against SDF

April 11, 2013
A group of citizens on April 10 filed a criminal complaint against the Self-Defense Forces, claiming that the SDF has violated the gun control law by allowing citizens to hold guns at public events.

Charges against specific individuals filed with the Special Investigation Department of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office include former Defense Minister Tanaka Naoki, the Ground SDF chief of staff, the commanding general of the GSDF Eastern Army, and the division commander. This is the first case filed against high-ranking SDF officials for criminal prosecution over violation of the Swords and Firearms Control Law.

According to the citizens’ group called “SDF Watch,” the GSDF 1st Division displayed rifles and machine guns and let citizens, including children, hold them on April 8, 2012 during a public event it hosted at its camp in Nerima Ward, Tokyo.

Criticizing the SDF for allowing citizens to hold guns and put their fingers on the trigger, the group points out that it could increase interest in possessing weapons among civilians and thus is against the gun control law which strictly regulates possession of firearms.

Related past article:
> Exposure of children to SDF ranger training exercise violates Geneva treaty (April 8, 2013)
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