Japanese Police Panel Proposes Crossbow Permits To Prevent Crimes

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Rowan Saydlowski Contributor
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A panel created by the National Police Agency (NPA) of Japan recommended the introduction of a crossbow permitting system Thursday in an attempt to prevent crimes.

The NPA established the panel in June following a crossbow attack in Hyogo Prefecture that left four people killed or injured, according to a report by the Japan Times. (RELATED: Prosecutors In Japan Charge Man With Murder, Arson A Year After 36 People Died In Office Fire)

The NPA panel’s report said that people who want to own crossbows should only use them for a limited number of purposes, such as animal anesthesia, academic research or sports, according to the Japan Times.

The panel emphasized that crossbows should be treated like other weapons, such as air guns, which are regulated under the Act for Controlling the Possession of Firearms or Swords and Other Such Weapons and carry 18 different stipulations that could disqualify a civilian from possessing one, such as recent criminal history. A survey showed that in 65% of the police-detected incidents involving a crossbow since 2010, the possessor would have been disqualified under similar stipulations, according to the Japan Times.

Crossbow sellers should have to register with public safety commissions and those who want to purchase crossbows should be required to present a permit and identification, the panel concluded.

Various crossbow attacks have occurred in countries around the world in recent years, including in Canada and Germany last year.