France 2015 to Present: Strict Gun Control a Paper Tiger

Paris Terror Attack-Reuters

The strict French gun control that makes it extremely difficult for law-abiding citizens to defend themselves has proven little more than a paper tiger when it comes to prohibiting terrorists and public attackers from acquiring the guns they need to kill innocents.

The April 20 attack on a police patrol on the Champs Élysées illustrates this perfectly in light of the fact that the alleged attacker–Karim Cheurfi–was previously jailed for shooting at officers with a .38 Special revolver. The Daily Mail reports that Cheurfi was imprisoned “in 2005 for trying to kill two policemen” and wounding a third person with the revolver.

On Thursday he allegedly used a Kalashnikov to kill two officers. He was then shot dead, and upon searching his car, police discovered more weapons, “including a pump action shotgun.”

The University of Sydney’s describes French gun laws as “restrictive,” yet they were powerless to stop Cheurfi, just as they offered no hindrance to the 17-year-old who entered the Alexis de Tocqueville high school in Grasse mid-March and opened fire. Despite universal background checks–“which [consider] criminal, mental health and [physical] health” issues–The Local reports the 17-year-old was able to enter the school carrying “a revolver, a pistol, a hunting rifle and two grenades.”

Consider the November 13, 2015, terror attack on unarmed Parisians. In that attack, multiple terrorists opened fire with AK-47, or Kalashnikov-style, rifles. They killed 130 innocents. The universal background checks were not a hindrance, and the rest of the French gun laws were powerless to prevent the attack.

It is important to note that A Review of French Gun Laws (2012) shows that the background check in France is an ongoing process rather than a one time event. 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 130 innocents were gunned down on November 13, 2015.

And we cannot overlook the January 7, 2015, attack on Charlie Hebdo headquarters. Twelve innocents–including two police officers–were gunned down by armed terrorists who were not hindered by strict gun control.

French police unions responded to the Charlie Hebdo attack by explaining that gun control simply was not working for them; they could not continue to walk the streets of Paris presuming that terrorists would not acquire arms. The Associated Press reported that the police unions demanded “more” guns and “heavier” guns, as well as “protective gear, better training for first-responders, and more legal tools to guard against terrorists.”

Gun control reduces law-abiding citizens’ ability to defend themselves and places police officers at a marked disadvantage. On the other hand, it poses no hindrance to determined terrorists who target citizens and police officers alike.

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


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