In Shanghai, police officers walking the beat are now packing heat, a decision that follows last month's fatal knife attack in another part of China.
This week, more than 1,000 cops in China's largest city were given 9mm double-action revolvers -- the first armed law enforcement officers in the city in 60 years, according to a report on the central government's website.
"Violent crime and the extreme behavior of some individuals have become real threats to public security and people’s safety," said Rui Minghua, a police official, according to the article. "From now on, Shanghai police can open fire to stop violent crime if faced with situations like the Kunming attack."
He was referring to the bizarre knife attack on March 2 in Kunming, a city in southwestern China, in which 29 people were killed and 143 people were injured.
The revolver was designed by the so-called Public Security Ministry to fire both standard rounds similar to the .38 S&W and rubber bullets. The swing-out cylinder holds six bullets and appears to have a manual safety lever, according to articles by The Firearm Blog and another by the Russian website World Guns.
With many Chinese still leery about the safety of guns, the government issued strict rules regarding their use, according to the article. Case in point: "Officers must write a report if a gun is drawn, no matter whether it is fired or not," it states.