Guns Clubs in Hong Kong

I recently blogged about the attitude expressed by Mainland Chinese towards gun ownership. I was pleased to learn that Hong Kong has a number of gun clubs. They can apparently own semi-automatic pistols, rifles and shotguns.

Pistol shooting at the Hong Kong Rifle Association

One of their clubs, The Swiss Rifle Association Hong Kong ,was originally started by visiting Swiss Army officers and their British counterparts. They shoot Swiss-style competitions with Swiss military firearms and crossbows.

It is bizarre when you consider that the region now has more liberal gun ownership (pistols, semi-auto full power rifles) than the UK, its former overlord, despite being part of communist China.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Jon S

    Hong Kong, theoretically, has complete control over its internal affairs. Practically, it’s somewhat less than that, since China has veto power over the appointment of senior government officials, but it’s a far cry from being “administered” by China.

    If you go to Hong Kong, you see a lot of armed guards. Every bank and jewelry store will have one or two people with a shotgun. And there’s pretty much one of each on every block. People like to have big metal security doors on their apartments too. When the violent crime rate is one of the lowest in the world at 1/10 of that in the US and 1/5 of China, it’s basically a cultural thing to show that you have something worth stealing.

    Unlike the British, Hong Kong police are all armed too, usually with a revolver.

    • Jon, point taken. I have reworded the post.

  • Slim934

    “When the violent crime rate is one of the lowest in the world at 1/10 of that in the US and 1/5 of China, itโ€™s basically a cultural thing to show that you have something worth stealing.”

    Perhaps the low violent crime rate is a RESULT of this obvious cultural attitude towards the defense of private property rights. Low rates of crime do not merely occur; they have a natural underlying basis.

  • James

    I lived in Hong Kong for 18 years and while a lot of people have an interest in firearms (just look at the airsoft industry), gun ownership is very, very low. It is interesting that most of the clubs listed in the article are police related. It costs quite a bit of money to join a civilian club, which is prohibitive to most Hong Kong people.

    The British tightly regulated guns even before the hand over… I guess it’s not a good colonial practice to let the natives have firearms.

    There is probably one real gun store I am aware of on Hong Kong island but last I heard it was closing down – it is/was a family owned store that sold mainly rifles and shotguns that my grandfather used to frequent. The last time I passed it they were selling power tools as well; I guess the gun market by itself was not enough. A shame to see it go, there was defiantly some nostalgia associated with that shop.

    There are also a limited amount of civilian hunters in Hong Kong authorized to shoot wild boar. Sometimes when boar enter populated areas, they are called in to deal with them.

  • HK was pretty gun crazy before the British gave it back.

  • scurvy

    Two words. Hard. Boiled. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Yeah yeah, it’s a movie, but it reflects an entire genre of movies — the Hong Kong gun flick.

    As mentioned earlier, HK does have a lot more autonomy than mainlanders do.

  • Phil Wong

    There is an interesting Hong Kong action film, titled “Double Tap,” in which most of the first half of the film/story is set in, and filmed at, the Hong Kong Gun Club. As the plot revolves around an IPSC champion-turned-hitman, and his former rival assigned to stop him, a well-known local IPSC shooter was cast in a supporting role and as a technical advisor.

    It is well worth searching for on IMDB or YouTube, if for nothing else than the spectacle of a squad of cops suiting up with body armor and full-on IPSC Open-class competition-rigs.

    • Phil, I will look out for it.

  • Jon S

    Slim: I think that’s true to a certain extent. Heavy stress on education and hard work. Crime does tend to get a lot of coverage and chatter.

    There’s so many people, you couldn’t get away with anything. If you tried to rob a bank, you’d probably have a hundred witnesses, and you’d have to take the subway or else getaway car would be stuck in traffic.

    A lot of the crime just became white-collar instead. Although it’s far better than China, Hong Kong still has quite a bit of bribery and corruption. The anti-corruption cops have their own skyscraper. Given that it’s a business center, there’s naturally a lot of financial crime.

    Standard of living is high in Hong Kong. Minimum wage is higher than US, but tax is lower, and daily living costs are probably about half of that in the US.

  • Laz

    I’ve been living in Hong Kong for about 16 years, joined a gun club about 3 years ago and have been shooting competitively (IPSC and PPC) for about 2 years.

    Even as a civilian, it was fairly straightforward joining the gun club and also applying for a firearms license. I had to pass a written test, then a few officers from the Police Firearms Licensing Department came to my gun club for an oral test, plus a shooting test (ridiculously easy – I think I needed to keep 8 out of 10 shots on an 18-inch target at 7 yards).

    As far as I understand, all firearms must be stored at the gun club’s armory; and the police do perform random checks to make sure your gun is at the armory. However, you are allowed to take your gun and ammo out of the armory as long as you’re going to a recognized competition (and have the proper documents to prove it) – but you must bring it back to the armory immediately after the match.

    Hong Kong also has a small but active crowd of IPSC shooters. We occasionally get together with shooters from Macau (a nearby Special Administrative Region with similar privileges to HK) for larger matches. Level III matches will attract shooters from nearby SE Asian countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines.

    All in all, I’d say the most prohibitive thing about shooting/gun ownership in HK is the cost. Joining fees for gun clubs, import duties on firearms and cost of ammo puts gun ownership out of the hands of the majority of the HK public. However, HK people still love guns and shooting – and the airsoft scene is very active here (both IPSC and “wargaming”).

  • what

    hey do you know where i can buy guns in HK? do you know the locations of gun stores in hk?

  • Pittwm

    I was borned in HK and moved to the US when I was 13… My family still visit every year for 6 to 8 wks. I’m a gun nut in the US, many Sigs, HKs, Glocks, CZs as well as title 2 fun toys… Cans and SBRs… I want to broaden my horizon and visit a gunclub there in HK, is that possible?

  • Tengri

    Remember _ Best of the best _ the kong kong version is a cop movie. I saw it in vietnamese. I barely know any vietnamese but you can find rarer hong kong movies in other languages. There is a part where the girl shoots a good group and the guy next to her is dubbed as saying “oooh laa laa”. Worst dub ever.

  • Sam Suggs

    weird just weird I understand the whole special adminstrative region thing but dood

    • sdf

      Hong Kong has very strict gun rules. The guns must only be locked up and kept in a gun club and not taken home.

  • dutchjohnny

    you can own a gun in hong kong but it has to stay at the gun club and it can not be taken home or leave the club