3 Apr 2014

New Caledonia opposed to tighter gun laws

8:49 pm on 3 April 2014

The New Caledonian government says it's opposed to tighter gun laws as France suggested a limit of four hunting rifles per person.

Paris vowed last year to restrict gun ownership by March but the government of Harold Martin says such a step will only cause more political problems.

After the law change was signalled last year, the French high commissioner 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 in circulation.

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