Arms amnesty ends in France with thousands of unlicenced weapons handed over

© DoD photo by PHAN MILNE/PHAN DILLON via Wikimedia Commons

French gun owners have been handing over their weapons at police collection points across the country this week as part of a campaign to round up unlicensed firearms, often heirlooms lying in attics or forgotten at the back of cupboards.

Gun ownership in France is nowhere near as prevalent as in the United States, and gun crimes are relatively rare, but France is keen to limit the number of illegally owned firearms – as many as six million.

One gun owner who presented himself at a police collection point in the southern French city of Nice told French news agency AFP: "They were my dad's and I didn't know what do with them.

"I don't really like guns, and since there's a way to get rid of them cleanly, there's a moment you have to get rid of such souvenirs."

Rifles, handguns, ammunition – even knives and grenades – have been handed in at 300 collection points across France since the start of the Ministry of Interior's campaign on 25 November.

Those who bring in the weapons face no penalties. They can either have them registered or leave them with the police.

Giving guns up gladly

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