5 Dec 2011

Gun sales soar in New Caledonia

2:54 pm on 5 December 2011

Gun sales have skyrocketed this year in New Caledonia after the relaxation of regulations for the firearms market in March.

Noumea's daily newspaper, Les Nouvelles Caledoniennes, reports government figures as showing that 2500 weapons, mostly hunting rifles, have been sold since the beginning of the year, against 1800 for 2010.

Since the territory's regulations on arms sales were eased, the number of guns available in the market and the level of firearms imports have exploded.

The value of firearms imports to date this year is around 1.6 million US dollars, double last year's figure.

Police say that although there's been an increase in crime in New Caledonia this year, firearms-related crime has not increased.