Strict Gun Control Powerless as Attacker Opens Fire on High School in France

Police officers take position after an attack in a high school student in Grasse, southern France, Thursday, March 16, 2017. An armed high school student was arrested and police fanned out around a picturesque perfume capital in southern France after a school shooting that left at least two wounded. (AP …
AP/Philippe Farjon

France’s strict gun controls–including universal background checks, licensing requirements, and all-out bans on whole categories of guns–proved impotent as a 17-year-old suspect opened fired on a high school in Grasse.

The suspect is under arrest.

The Local reports that “the headteacher” at the Alexis de Tocqueville high school was targeted in the attack. The suspect was carrying “a revolver, a pistol, a hunting rifle and two grenades.” CNN’s French affiliate BFMTV reports the attack occurred at the around lunchtime.  A French Interior Ministry spokesman indicated “eight people have been injured, including those with shock.”

Reports on the various firearms possessed during the attack remind the world that France’s gun laws–which are described as “restrictive” by the University of Sydney’s–proved powerless again to stop a determined attacker.

Consider this–A Review of French Gun Laws (2012) shows that “ownership of fully automatic firearms [is prohibited] for civilians” in France, yet fully automatic weapons were the very kind used in the Charlie Hebdo attack. And when it comes to semi-automatic firearms, those who wish to own them have to go through the very kind of expanded background checks that the Democrat Party and other gun control proponents would like to institute in the U.S.

Moreover, in France such checks entail acquiring and maintaining “an active shooting club [membership]” and going to the range “at least three times a year.” They also include “seeing a doctor every year,” who declares one “physically and mentally capable of owning a firearm,” and filling out various pieces of paperwork as well.

Yet a 17-year-old attacker had “a revolver, a pistol, a hunting rifle, and two grenades” on his person at the high school in Grasse.

The report of “grenades” is a reminder that all the gun control in the world–even complete confiscation of every firearm ever made–would not stop a determined attacker; this is because determined attackers find other weapons–like trucks in Nice or, in this case, grenades–and are prepared to use those weapons against unarmed, defenseless civilians.

It is worth noting that Quebec also has “restrictive” gun controls, yet Reuters reported that “six people were killed and eight wounded when [a gunman] opened fire” on January 29, 2017. Munich has “restrictive” gun controls too, yet these controls were no hindrance to the gunman who opened fire and killed nine on July 22, 2016. Denmark has “restrictive” gun controls similar to those in France, Quebec, and Germany, yet these controls did not prevent a terrorist from opening fire, killing two civilians and wounding five police officers on February 14, 2015.

And never forget the 130 who were gunned down in cold blood in Paris on November 13, 2015.

Gun control keeps the innocent unarmed while criminals and terrorists retain access to firearms.

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.