Gun Laws in France Open Discussions of Gun Control

Posted on: January 12th, 2015
With the recent unfortunate incident at Charlie Hebdo in France there has been a lot of buzz on most networks, social media channels, and traditional news sources about their stance on gun control. It’s not only a discussion that should be public but could have some interesting implications in the U.S.

If you’re not aware, France has an extremely strict gun control law…it is unlawful for people, including the police to carry firearms. In an article, Paris Charlie Hebdo Attack Puts Spotlight On French Gun Control Laws, Thriving Black Market, in the International Business Times, it specifically talks about “the police arrived on pushbikes and unarmed.” Even Donald Trump got in on the discussion when he said…

“If the people so violently shot down in Paris had guns, at least they would have had a fighting chance. Isn’t it interesting that the tragedy in Paris took place in one of the toughest gun control countries in the world? Remember, when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns!”

They go on to talk about the expansive black market for weapons in France. Phillipe Capon, head of UNSA police union said, “The French black market for weapons has been inundated with eastern European war artillery and arms. They are everywhere in France.” This confirms that guns are available, just not legally but that doesn’t stop violent crimes from happening…as was illustrated by the horrific attack on Charlie Hebdo.

There are some interesting lessons and implications for gun laws in the U.S. as well from not only these incidences but from the position France takes on gun law and gun control. Many lawmakers and legislators in many states want tougher gun laws and more gun control. But as evidenced from the country with the strictest laws, it didn’t deter terrorists and criminals from obtaining guns and using them to commit horrific crimes against the country. Is this a model we can learn from and use or is it one for us to avoid? That is a question that will surely have lots of debate for many years to come.

And being as fragmented as America is in different gun laws by state, even where one state might have strict gun laws, one next door might not. Obtaining firearms, especially for those who are criminally minded, isn’t difficult in the U.S. or probably any other country throughout the world. These types of restrictions don’t seem to impact the ability for guns to be obtained by those seeking to commit crimes against others.

Perhaps the answer lies more in education, training, and the proper use of firearms rather than trying to eliminate them from those who could protect themselves and others against these types of violent crimes. Something we should definitely continue to discuss and debate for the protection of our own soil.
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