Police of Thanh Hoá Province confiscate many weapons. — Photo antv.gov.vn

According to statistics from the ministry, cases of criminals using homemade guns, rudimentary weapons, quasi-rudimentary weapons and knives to commit crimes are on the rise, complicating efforts to manage weapons.

In the past five years, 28,715 cases were detected nation-wide and 48,987 people were arrested for illegally using weapons, explosives, supporting tools, knives and knife-like devices.

Of these, the number of cases using knives and knife-like devices accounted for 58.6 per cent, primitive weapons accounted for 29.7 per cent, and homemade guns accounted for 6.2 per cent.

Specifically, in 2022, there were 1,127 criminal cases and 1,782 subjects, an increase of 128 cases and 350 subjects compared to 2019.

Particularly for criminals illegally using knives, swords, hammers and axes, there were 5,431 cases and 8,277 subjects.

Among them, organised crime groups and gangs have emerged and are operating very aggressively, causing many particularly serious cases, but legal avenues for authorities to handle these types of crimes were limited.

Knives are always available in everyday life. When conflicts arise, criminals are ready to use knives to attack victims.

However, because current law does not stipulate that knives are weapons, the act of using a knife is only handled when the subject commits a criminal offense such as murder, robbery and intentional injury, and they cannot be charged with illegal storage and use of weapons.

Similarly, homemade guns can have dangerous consequences like military weapons. However, according to current regulations, homemade guns cannot be equipped to the people's armed forces and they are strictly prohibited from being manufactured, produced, traded, transported, stored or used.

The ministry said that many people take advantage of the above loopholes to manufacture, store, buy, sell, transport and illegally use homemade guns and rudimentary weapons.

If this problem is not promptly prevented and handled, there will be a potential risk of causing loss of security and order.

To overcome these shortcomings, the ministry proposed in the draft many new regulations on weapons.

The current Law on Management and Use of Weapons, Explosives and Supporting Tools classifies weapons including military weapons, hunting guns, primitive weapons, sporting weapons and other weapons which have similar features and effects.

In the draft, the ministry proposed to classify weapons including military weapons, primitive weapons and sporting weapons, of which shotguns, flintlock guns, explosive bullet guns, paintball guns, gas and air compression guns are added to the list of military weapons.

Similarly, highly lethal knives are added to the list of primitive weapons.

"Highly lethal knives" are defined as sharp knives with a blade length of 20cm or more, or knives with a blade length of less than 20cm but converted and assembled as a high-damage knives.

The ministry also proposed a number of additional prohibited acts such as researching, manufacturing, producing, trading, exporting, importing, storing, transporting, repairing, renovating, assembling, illegally using or appropriating rudimentary weapons, except for highly lethal knives used for labour, production and daily life purposes.

It is strictly forbidden to illegally bring weapons, explosives, explosive precursors, and supporting tools to public places, as well as illegally advertising weapons, explosives, explosive precursors, and supporting tools.

Currently, the ministry is collecting comments from agencies, organisations and individuals on the draft amended law and will propose that the Government report to the National Assembly Standing Committee to include the law in the 2024 Law and Ordinance Building Programme of the 15th National Assembly, for approval at the 7th Session of the 15th National Assembly in May 2024. — VNS