Cops say that they plan to follow up on the claims made by Chan in an interview where he boasted that years ago he carried guns and grenades to defend himself against Hong Kong gangsters, state run media here reported.
Chan, 58, made the claims in an interview with the Guangzhou-based magazine Southern People Weekly quoting him as saying that many Hong Kong actors were once bullied by local mafia-style gangs, and only he dared to confront them. "I was at dinner once when more than 20 people with watermelon machetes surrounded me. I had three guns with me and told them that they had gone too far," the magazine quoted Chan as saying. Chan said after that he even brought two guns and six grenades with him.
Official daily Global Times here quoted police spokesperson in Hong Kong as saying that since Chan is a celebrity, it is necessary to investigate his story. If the story turns out to be true, the actor would have blatantly breached gun-related regulations and if it is not then he could be in trouble for spreading misleading information to the public, the spokesperson said. According to gun laws in Hong Kong, a license is required to carry a firearm.
It is not known if Chan had ever been issued a gun license by the Hong Kong Police Force. Breaking the gun law in the region can net an offender a fine of HKD 100,000 (USD 12,903) and up to 14 years in prison. Chan, who starred in Hollywood hits like 'Rush Hour', 'Karate Kid', now appears to be backtracking from his original boast in his online explanation of his statement to the magazine.
"I told the media about my unruly behaviour to express that I had thought of resorting to violence because of my lack of education. I cannot express myself properly sometimes, I only want to say that people need discipline, and our government should manage the public and resources in a fair way," Chan responded on his Sina Weibo microblog.
"I know the more I explain, the more questions will be asked about me," he added. The police in Hong Kong have strictly regulated guns, and crimes involving firearms have dropped dramatically in recent years. There was no crimes involving real guns in 2008 and 2010, China Newsweek quoted local police as saying.
"It will be hard to launch an investigation even if Jackie Chan tells the police he told the truth during the interview, as it will be next to impossible to find witnesses and weapons," Gao Ming, a lawyer from the Shanghai-based Wanfang Law Firm, told the Global Times. "They will also need to take timeliness into consideration since it happened many years ago. I think the police are probably using it as a promotion of their public image rather than truly investigating the incident," Gao added.