From the Japan Times newspaper:

Following the multiple terrorist attacks in and around Paris, French security forces the Muslim extremists were in possession of the following weapons:

– loaded rocket launcher

– several pistols

– 10 smoke grenades

– 3 Kalashnikovs

– a grenade

– 10 Molotov cocktails

– 15 sticks of dynamite

– a detonator

By now it’s fairly safe to say the whole world knows of France’s strict gun control measures, and the French citizen’s lack of a constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. If you haven’t, the Crime Prevention Research Center has an excellent run down of the overly strict French gun laws.

So now that we know what weapons were used (all of which were illegal in France), it’s nearly impossible to not wonder ‘How could those extremely strict gun control laws fail to protect the employees of Charlie Hebdo and the other murdered French citizens?’

The answer is simple, and it’s one 2nd Amendment advocates have been saying for years. Gun laws are merely just words on a page. To terrorists, murders, thugs, and criminals of all types a law means nothing, particularly if these types are bent on doing harm to others. Feel good laws, bans, restrictions, and limitations merely place an increased burden on law-abiding citizens.

As we’ve witnessed in France, banning firearms does not make them go away. In reality gun bans just create prime conditions for black market sales. In fact according to Bloomberg News and the Washington Post:

“Semi-automatic and automatic firearms are banned [in France], but that hasn’t stopped drug dealers and terrorists from acquiring them in increasing numbers, according to the National Observatory for Delinquency, a state body created in 2003 by then-Interior Minister and later President Nicolas Sarkozy. The numbers of illegal weapons in France have increased by double digits for years, the body says.”

“The French black market for weapons has been inundated with eastern European war artillery and arms,” Philippe Capon, the head of UNSA police union, told Bloomberg. “They are everywhere in France.”

“The number of illegal guns is thought to be at least twice the number of legal guns in the country. Weapons such as AK-47s can be bought for the equivalent of a few thousand dollars.”

With that said, how many gun French civilians do you think would be able to protect themselves or their loved ones from ‘drug dealers and terrorists’ armed with these types of black market weapons? Note that even three Parisian police officers had to flee the Charlie Hebdo scene because they were unarmed and incapable of defending themselves or the citizens they are tasked to protect and serve.

It’s difficult concept for some people to grasp, but we live in a dangerous world where bad people do bad things to innocent people. When a person crosses the line and becomes intent on hurting others, laws will not stop them. We here at the Iowa Firearms Coalition recognize this, and odds are if you’re reading this you do too. We encourage everyone to acknowledge the fact that your own personal safety is your responsibility.

Obviously we believe strongly in your right to carry concealed weapons. But we also realize that is not for everyone. The important thing is you have option and the freedom to carry for your own protection. As Americans we are free to go about our lives knowing full well it’s a dangerous world we live in. Everyday we run the risk of  being paralyzed by a drunk driver who runs a red light. We risk getting a paper cut and eventually dying of a staph infection. And there’s a chance we may be wounded or killed by a madman. But at least we are free enough to have a chance at defending ourselves.

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again:

Be alert.

Be prepared.

Be safe.


Iowa Firearms Coalition is an entirely volunteer, grassroots, 2nd Amendment advocacy group. Responsible for bringing uniformity to Iowa’s Concealed Weapons Permitting process, IFC’s members work to protect and enhance 2nd Amendment rights in Iowa. An affiliate of the National Rifle Association, the IFC actively seeks to foster and promote the shooting sports. Sign up for our email list for the latest on 2nd Amendment issues in Iowa. You can support our work by becoming a member, or making a donation.