Gun tourism has long been popular in the United States, where regulatory laws are lax compared to other countries. (Photo : Getty Images)
Gun tourism is enticing Chinese gun enthusiasts to American shores for a chance to shoot their favorite firearms, USA Today reported.
One of their favored destinations is DeSoto County in Florida, where there are a number of firing ranges. Chinese travel organizers are taking advantage of the increasing demand.
“It’s a place Chinese can go to experience real gun culture,” Dickson Wong, a 38-year-old travel tour operator, told USA Today. “It’s impossible to shoot [in China].”
Based on Wong’s estimates, there are approximately tens of thousands of wealthy Chinese gun enthusiasts who fly to the United states.
As a result, Wong is slated to open his very own luxury gun club in 2019, where he hopes to attract at least 5,000 Chinese tourists every year. Aside from shooting ranges, the gun club will boast well-appointed luxury accommodations as well as Chinese-speaking instructors.
Gun tourism has long been popular in the United States, where regulatory laws are lax compared to other countries. Aside from Florida, Hawaii and Las Vegas are also frequented by target shooters from other parts of the U.S. and from outside the country.
Meanwhile, China has a long way to go when it comes to freedom of firearms. In a country where gun firing is considered taboo, severe restrictions have been put in place to ensure that even the mere possession of a toy gun can send a person to jail for a considerable period of time.
Weapons control laws have been a part of Chinese legislation since the third century B.C. Tighter controls have been put in place in 1949 when the communists placed themselves in positions of power.
In 1996, a law was officially passed, banning citizens from owning guns. This law was amended prior to the Beijing Olympics to include restrictions on replica weapons.
While the government promotes gun regulatory laws as crucial to public safety, critics are convinced it’s one way to help curb uprisings.
“The Chinese government took away people’s guns to prevent them rising up,” Zhou Xiaozheng, a sociologist at Renmin University, told USA Today.