More than half of the illegal firearms seized by police last month were confiscated from individuals outside of organized crime, the National Police Agency said Thursday.

The agency reported that in October — when police stepped up efforts to crack down on illegal firearms — 139 guns were seized, up 35 from the same period last year.

Of these, 87 were taken from people other than mobsters, up 49 from October last year, the agency said.

About 20 of the weapons were confiscated from people who had bought them in Internet auctions of so-called model guns from a company employee arrested last month by Aichi Prefectural Police.

During the crackdown, police investigated 59 people, down 14 from a year earlier, on suspicion of violating the firearm and sword law and other offenses.

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