16 Oct 2013

Firearms and alcohol debate revived following New Caledonia shooting

11:38 am on 16 October 2013

A New Caledonia member of the French National Assembly, Sonia Lagarde, says she is extremely worried about juvenile delinquency and the role of alcohol in the territory following yesterday's shooting spree.

Four people were rushed to hospital, one of them in a critical condition.

The territory's public prosecutor says the shooting in Kamere, a district north of the capital Noumea, followed a night of drinking by a group of young people.

A 25-year-old gunman, who was known to police, reportedly went to his home to fetch a rifle after he had an argument and then shot two people, including a teenager.

He then fired at others before police arrived and arrested him.

A police spokesman says two adults and two minors were rushed to hospital with wounds to the head, legs and thighs.

Along with debate over alcohol, the shooting has revived questions about the growing number of firearms in New Caledoinia..

The gun law was eased three years ago and now there are about 50,000 weapons in the territory. That's about one firearm for every three adults.