Part of the Human Comedy series
This post may contain incomplete facts
Japan is a gun-banning society. With the exceptions of the police and military, no one is allowed to own or carry a gun. But here is a neat caveat. Japanese police members on duty can carry guns, but they are absolutely prohibited from shooting at a target. The most they could do is to fire warning shots (to the sky). There are of course exceptions for special police forces. Police members who violate this rule could be criminally prosecuted, and Japan is known for its harsh penalties for gun crimes. This information came straight from a Japanese friend, who is currently studying in the United States.
The good thing about this is the elimination of gun abuses by the police. We won’t see tragedies like Michael Brown in Japan. The downside is that ordinary criminals are less fearful of the police and will occasionally challenge them. Fortunately, crime rates are relatively low in Japan. Most Japanese gang members have abandoned the use of guns, since the country’s stringent gun laws are not worth challenging.
Japanese police has recently added a usable weapon to their arsenal – paintball guns. They can now shoot non-lethal, irremovable paintball at targets for the purpose of identifying and tracking criminals.