As a result of a reduction in unlicensed firearms, French gun owners have surrendered their guns at record levels to police stations across France.
France is keen to limit the number of illegally owned firearms – as many as six million, authorities estimate – and the Macron government is offering an amnesty in an effort to limit their distribution.
Rifles, handguns, ammunition, even knives and grenades, have been handed in at 300 collection points across the country since the start of the Ministry of Interior’s campaign on Nov. 25.
Weapons brought into the country are not subject to penalties. They will also be destroyed.
Reuters has reported that 65,000 firearms, of every type, had been returned along with 1.6million bullets.
“This campaign is here to help French people surrender these objects that are rather cumbersome for most,”Florence Gavello, police commander, said this at Nice’s collection point.
Other authorities also shared this optimism for a national disarmament.
“We believe there are about 5 or 6 million weapons that are being kept in an irregular manner by our fellow citizens,” said Jean-Simon Merandat, Head of the Interior Ministry’s Central Service for Arms and Explosives.
“Eighty to ninety percent of these weapons are in their possession due to an inheritance.”
“When we talk to them, they’re quite happy about … getting rid of them.”
After Friday’s campaign, all weapons collected will be either destroyed or handed to museums.
France is home to 67 million inhabitants, so it has less guns per capita than other countries.
Follow Simon Kent Twitter Follow @SunSimonKent or e-mail to: [email protected]
The full article is available here here