France has launched a weeklong campaign for collecting unregistered firearms and ammunition, mostly targeting old and heirloom pieces.
The French government announced its campaign, which ended on Dec. 2, for collecting and destroying old firearms—targeting the around 5 million such pieces that people in the country have. These firearms are mostly remnants from the two World Wars, as France was once the scene of many of the last century’s battles. Other weapons may be old hunting firearms that have not been in use for years.
People that want to keep such firearms will need to register them in the state registration system and undergo checks every year.
“We believe there are about 5 or 6 million weapons that are being kept in an irregular manner by our fellow citizens,” said Jean-Simon Merandat, head of the Interior Ministry’s Central Service for Arms and Explosives. “Eighty to ninety percent of these weapons are in their possession due to an inheritance.”
The campaign has collected at least 1.6 million munition pieces but only 65,000 firearms, the majority of which will be destroyed, and some may be preserved.
“We expect those with historic or cultural value to be spared destruction and brought to one or several museums,” Merandat added.