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Taiwan: Amendment to Firearms Law

(Dec. 5, 2008) Effective November 26, 2008, Taiwan's Statute for Controlling Firearms, Ammunition, Knives, and Weapons (Firearms Statute) was amended by the addition of a new paragraph to article 7, broadening the scope of major firearms-related offenses. The new provision states that anyone who, with the intent to provide them for his own or other persons' use in committing a crime, by means of robbery, forcible seizure, theft, or other illegal methods, possesses firearms or ammunition stipulated under paragraph 1 that are in the lawful possession of persons carrying out their official duties according to law can have their punishment increased by up to a half.

The firearms and ammunition listed in article 7, paragraph 1, and referenced in the new paragraph include, among other items, shoulder weapons, machine guns, submachine guns, automatic rifles, ordinary rifles, carbines, hand guns, and all types of ammunition shells, bombs, and explosives. The punishment for unlicensed manufacture, sale, or transport of such weapons is the death penalty, life imprisonment, or a minimum seven-year fixed-term sentence and a fine of NT30 million (about US$1 million) (art. 7, para. 1). (Amendment to Statute for Controlling Firearms, Ammunition, and Weapons, 6832 THE GAZETTE OF THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT 9 (Nov. 26, 2008), available at; Shih Hsiu-chuan, DPP Lawmakers to Block Amendment to Stock Tax, TAIPEI TIMES, Nov. 8, 2008, at 4, available at

The Firearms Statute was originally promulgated on June 27, 1983. It was extensively revised and expanded in an amendment promulgated on November 24, 1997, and has been amended several times since then. (The Statute Regulating Firearms, Ammunition, Knives, and Weapons [Ciang pao dan-yao dao sie guan-jhih tiao-li] [in Chinese], Legislative Yuan Laws System database, (last visited Dec. 2, 2008).)