23 Jan 2014

New Caledonia gun laws to be tightened by March

2:37 pm on 23 January 2014

New restrictive laws around arms control in New Caledonia are due to be in place at the beginning of March.

The new date has been given by the French interior minister attending the National Assembly.

Last month, the French high commissioner in New Caledonia expressed concern at the spike in firearms sales after Paris said it would tighten gun laws before the end of the year.

Jean-Jacques Brot said sales had doubled while the local press said weapon sales had grown tenfold.

There are suggestions that now more than 100,000 rifles are now in circulation.

There have been several shooting incidents in public as well as eight homicides in the past year, which a leading politician, Philippe Gomes, says has raised New Caledonia's armed crime rate to three times that of France.