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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 thelocal.fr 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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26 Responses to Kimber Gun Rights Bulletin: French Gun Ownership, Carry Increasing

  1. “France is home to an estimated 7.5 million legal firearms and 10 – 20 million illegal guns, many of them WWII-era vintage.”

    Paratroopers during the D-Day invasion lost a *lot* of Thompsons during their airdrops.

    I can only imagine some of the hardware hidden away in farmhouse walls…

      • Nobody knows how many WW guns are out there and still functional. But the weapons of the time were produced for eternity, my own Mauser 98 is already past it’s 100 birthday.
        But for germany you don’t have to look back at the world wars to estimate how many illegal guns are floating around, there are exact numbers how many guns became illegal over night in the year 1972, when some panicking politicians introduced gun control as answer to the Munich olympia massacre. 19 million guns were sold from 1949 to 1972 in west germany as you only needed to be 18 years old and have a legis passport to own anything your heart desires. You could just order via phone and get the gun delivered to your front door. Quelle and Neckermann, the amazon of the 20th century in germany, sold a sh*t ton of guns.
        And then they had to be registered or were completely forbidden. But of the 19 million guns only 500k were registered as you needed to get a hunting and gun owning license quickly. Another 500k were given back in amesty during the following years. So we know west germny produced 18 million illegal guns that year. Add another 5-10 million world war guns and then the guns that were left back by russian troops after german reunion and all the guns smuggled in from balkan and jugoslawian war. So germany has easily over 30 million illegal guns. While 5.6 million are registed as legal guns.

  2. I guess the US is still exporting to France, but now it’s the “I WILL NOT COMPLY” concept for SELF-defense, instead of “Please promise you’ll protect me better than you did for Charlie Hebdo.”

  3. “As terror attacks become more frequent, the push to allow citizens to carry guns will likely only increase.”

    Hah. Never underestimate the depth of Progressive cognitive depravity.

  4. Lest we forget all the sudden pro-French FB flags showing up after the slaughter in gay Pareeees…what’ll they do about large suicidal truck drivers?🇫🇷

    • This is a common, and completely false, bit of anti-French comedy. Do a little research of WW I and note how many MILLIONS of French troops died, rifles in hand, attacking German trenches. Do a Google search on the French Foreign Legion. Note that the Germans nor the Italians were actually able to defeat the Maginot Line in WW II and their only hope was to bypass it into the face of determined French troops led by entirely incompetent and border-line senile generals. It was those generals that surrendered to the Wehrmacht, not the troops on the front.

      Oh, and by the way, the Vichy French in North Africa gave the American troops a very hot welcome when we first waded ashore there.

  5. “The French government has recently given off-duty police officers the right to carry their arms…”

    If the government gives it to you, it ain’t a right. What’s being described is a privilege, reserved for a tiny minority of French citizens deemed acceptable by the state.

  6. It would be interesting to know how many firearms are being smuggled in. With all of the French shore line, it would seem to be a lucrative extra market for the usual drug smugglers.

    This begs the question, could the same thing happen in the US?

    • Why bother with a boat? With Europe’s open borders, you can just drive them in in the trunk of a car. It ain’t that far from France to any number of exotic and troubled places where illicit guns can be had very cheaply, in whatever quantity you desire.

      • And has been that way for a lot of years, now. If you’re in a hurry, just make it a big truck full of select-fire gins and ammo at a time, nobody’s going to check.

  7. According to Popenker (who speaks German and has connections in Germany), there are between 20 and 40 million illegals guns in Germany. However, availability of ammunition is a big problem. Most of the owners of illegal guns are worthless shooters due to the lack of training.

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