Kimber Gun Rights Bulletin: French Gun Ownership, Carry Increasing



France is home to an estimated 7.5 million legal firearms and 10 – 20 million illegal guns, many of them WWII-era vintage. Thanks to recent terrorist attacks, both numbers are growing, as English language French publication reports:

As a result there has a been a surge in the number of people joining gun clubs and looking to arm themselves.
An investigation by the Nouvel Observateur website found that the number of people signing up to become licensed members at shooting clubs has risen 38 percent in five years.

And in the past year alone there has been a 10 percent increase, believed to be down to the spate of terror attacks that began with the massacre at Charlie Hebdo in January 2015.

“Before the beginning of 2015, it was just a vague trend. But since the attacks at Charlie Hebdo, the Bataclan and Nice, the movement has amplified,” writes the Nouvel Obs.

Having a gun no longer seems to be a taboo subject in France.

There are a healthy number of gun clubs in France. Most of the firearm ownership surge relates to home defense. It’s almost impossible for a private citizen to legally carry for defensive purposes. But the French attitude to bearing arms may be changing.

The French government has recently given off-duty police officers the right to carry their arms and has encouraged municipal police to take their right to bear weapons on duty.

Arpac, an organisation that is in favour of the public having the right to carry weapons, says it has received hundreds of inquiries since the terror attacks.

There are strict penalties for  carrying a gun illegally in France. As in much of the the rest of the world, a well-known and respected citizen in a rural area is much less likely to be searched or prosecuted than a poor anonymous urban dweller. As terror attacks become more frequent, the push to allow citizens to carry guns will likely increase.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

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