30 Apr 2015

New move to curb New Caledonia gun ownership

11:59 am on 30 April 2015

The French overseas minister, George Pau-Langevin, has tabled a law proposal aimed at curbing gun ownership in New Caledonia as part of measures to modernise provisions applied in overseas territories.

No details are immediately known but Ms Pau-Langevin has told a news conference in Paris that there are far too many weapons in New Caledonia.

Gun

Photo: PHOTO NZ

Previous announcements of plans to curb gun ownership have led to a massive sales boost.

In 2011, the gun law was liberalised, setting no limit to the number of weapons a person could buy if they produced an identity card, a hunting licence and a medical certificate confirming physical and mental aptitude to buy a firearm.

In 2013, the then French high commissioner Jean-Jacques Brot said sales had doubled while the local press said weapon sales had grown tenfold, amid suggestions that there were more than 100,000 rifles in circulation.

There have been several shooting incidents in New Caledonia, which a leading politician, Philippe Gomes, said had raised the territory's armed crime rate to three times that of France.