France To Toughen Gun Laws In New Caledonia

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Minister says new decree should be in force by December

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Nov. 7, 2013) – The French government is poised to tighten gun ownership rules in New Caledonia after an outcry over a recent series of fatal shootings.

The overseas territories minister, Victorin Lurel, has told the National Assembly in Paris that a decree is being prepared which should come into force by the end of next month.

Mr. Lurel made the announcement after being asked by a New Caledonian member, Philippe Gomes, for Paris to act.

Mr. Gomes has pointed to eight killings with a gun in a year, which he says is a rate three times higher than in France.

He says while there are a number of reasons for this, the process to acquire a firearm was eased in 2009 which has seen a threefold increase in gun ownership.

Last month, a teenager died after a man fetched a rifle and started shooting people in Noumea.

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