7 Oct 2015

New Caledonia gun law change disappoints

12:50 pm on 7 October 2015

A leading New Caledonian politician, Philippe Gomes, says French law changes to limit gun ownership in the territory fail to address the concerns about illegal weapons.

Last week, the French legislature approved a raft of changes applying to overseas territories which will come into effect next year which pave the way for curbing New Caledonians' gun ownership to four weapons a person.

Mr Gomes has described the change as dangerous because those who own weapons legally will be inconvenienced while there is urgency to stop the trouble caused by those who hold guns illegally.

He has raised his concerns repeatedly and approached the French prime minister, Manuel Valls, about it.

In 2013, France signalled a tightening of the gun law, which sent sales skyrocketed and now there is about one firearm for every two adult inhabitants.

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.

no caption

Photo: AFP