When citizens from other counties think of the U.S., they might not necessarily think of our gun culture. However, a new trend called “gun tourism” is centered around it. And the U.S. is the mecca of this new concept.
USA Today recently published the story of Dickson Wong, “a marksman with deep interest in firearms.” Wong arranges tours for groups of Chinese gun enthusiasts to travel to DeSoto County, Florida, just so they can shoot at gun ranges.
That might sound crazy, but it’s more common than you think.
USA Today reports gun tourism is a growing business in the U.S. because laws regulating firearms are more relaxed than those in other countries. The appeal of America’s gun culture isn’t limited to China. The publication says Honolulu attracts target shooters from Japan, and Las Vegas has numerous gun ranges that cater to foreign visitors as well as U.S. citizens.
This trend is not new. As evident by a story in The Washington Times back in 2014, gun tourism is growing by year. A recent report by WVLT, a CBS affiliate in Knoxville, Tennessee, cited how the gun tourism trend has impacted a local gun range. The range owner said he’s had enthusiasts from Japan, China, Australia, Sweden, Germany, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Russia.
U.S. vs. China
For China, USA Today reports Chinese citizens could face jail time for having possession of firearms, including even an air rifle or toy gun. Wong said it’s impossible to shoot in China.
That’s what leads tens of thousands of wealthy Chinese citizens to come to the U.S., Wong told the publication. China’s weapon-control laws date back to third century B.C. However, when communism spread across the country in 1949 that rights to own and shoot guns began to trickle away. Chinese citizens were officially banned from owning guns in 1996.
“The Chinese government took away people’s guns to prevent them rising up,” Zhou Xiaozheng, a sociologist at Renmin University told USA Today.
Currently, Wong is planning to expand his shop in Beijing into his own state-of-the-art gun range. The shop carries camo gear, holsters and t-shirts quoting the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment. However, the only thing missing is actual guns.
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