controls gun ownership and gun crime is rare.
Zhao Chunhua was sentenced last month after police determined
six of the guns used in her street-side balloon game were air
guns capable of firing small metal bullets, rather plastic ones
that should be used.
The case was widely debated in media and on social media, with
many people saying Zhao was obviously no criminal and the law
should not have come down so hard on her for buying guns she
thought were legal.
Her daughter, Wang Yanling, told the People's Daily this month
her mother would never have touched the guns if she had known
they were considered real under the law.
Following an appeal, a court in the city of Tianjin, where Zhao
lived and ran her small balloon-shooting operation on the back
of a tricycle, determined that while the guns she had were
technically illegal, she had no real criminal intent.
The court said in a statement that Zhao had a "good attitude"
towards admitting her guilt and had deeply reflected on the harm
her action had caused society, so changed her sentence to a
suspended three-and-a-half year term.
The court said it also ordered her release, meaning she will be
able to go home for the Lunar New Year holiday which starts on
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Robert Birsel)
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