France has been decimated by terrorist attacks. ISIS has declared war on the French people, and attacked with merciless violence.
First, the satirical paper Charlie Hebdo was attacked in January 2015.
In November ISIS hit Paris in a concert hall, major stadium, and in restaurants and bars.
Then most recently in July, a terrorist madman drove a truck into a Bastille Day celebration killing 84 and wounding countless others.
Now, some French leaders have had enough. And their solution? More guns.
France has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the world. And they did nothing to stop these attacks. France has around 7.5 million guns legally in circulation, and an unknown illegally obtained total. Those caught with an illegal gun can be incarcerated for a maximum of seven years in prison and given a fine. There is no equivalent to the United States’ 2nd Amendment, and to own a gun you have to undergo a psychological evaluation. Unlike many European countries, some police carry firearms, but their training is lacking and their equipment outdated. Municipal police, which protect small cities and towns, do not carry guns.
But gun restrictions are starting to loosen. Since the Charlie Hebdo attacks there have been calls for better equipment and more armed police.
Francois Bayrou, preisdent of the Democratic Movement (MoDem) and mayor of Pau announced an increase in armed police officers and criticized the use of non-lethal weapons when dealing with terrorism:
“On the Promenade des Anglais, the municipal police and the national police had the same mission,” said Francois Bayrou, “to stop a mad murderer or vehicle, our arms against incivility, that is to say, flash ball and taser obviously against a launch vehicle, are useless. ”
The mayor of Pau states that “75% of the recruited personnel are personnel who were either in the police or in the national police or the army, who are trained in handling weapons.” All need training from 57 hours to obtain authorization, and board examination every year. The weapons are pistols. The National Police could for example provide weapons reformed by France Bleu Béarn.
François Bayrou sure not to take this decision, “a light heart” because he had refused to arm its municipal police. “But now the threat has evolved, the threat has become so heavy and so serious, my belief is that we must evolve along with the threat.”
France allows municipal police to carry guns if mayors approve. There are 20,000 municipal French police in the country, and fewer than half of them carry guns. In June France relaxed gun laws to let their police force carry guns when off-duty.
France continues to be under a state of Emergency. It has been renewed four times.