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BackStories » Vietnam » New Policy Allows District-Level Police to Carry Firearms, Grenades, Operate Helicopters

The new regulation will go into effect beginning July 1.

According to a new update to a decree on police weapons issued by the Ministry of Public Security, district-level town police can now carry firearms and other personal defense weapons, VnExpress reports. The firearms allowed include pistols, rifles, submachine guns and rubber bullets guns.

The new policy also allows these police members to carry tear gas, rubber and metal batons, stun batons, cut-resistant gloves, bulletproof vests, handcuffs, and several types of melee weapons.

For provincial city's police, in addition to the aforementioned weapons, acceptable armaments includes RPD machine guns, anti-tank missiles, grenade launchers, heavy machine guns, mortars, B-10 recoilless rifles, DShKs, armed helicopters, bombs, land mines and grenades. 

The joint circular was developed and discussed back in 2017, which drew mixed opinions. According to National Assembly deputy Truong Minh Hoang, arming district-level town's police is necessary to prevent crimes from happening at the district-level.

However, there remain concerns about whether the town's police are properly trained and regulated in order not to misuse these dangerous weapons. For Bui Thi An, a professor and national assembly's deputy, arming district-level town's police is "no joking matter."

"Our country has 100,000 district-level police. How do we manage these hundreds of thousands of armed police, so that they won't abuse their newfound power?" she said.

[Photo via VnExpress]

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