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IPFS News Link • History

France, the Nazis, and Gun Control

• By Janet Levy

Laval and France's ruling parties feared social revolution and banned "war" weapons, instituting strict gun registration policies.  They believed that repressive limits on civilian gun ownership were necessary at a time of Depression-sparked unrest and ongoing conflicts among various political factions.  Strict time limits for firearms registration and harsh penalties for noncompliance, including forfeiture, fines, and imprisonment, were put in place.  Laval's government did not foresee the impact these restrictive measures would have on a Nazi-conquered France just five years later, when firearms surrender would be required under threat of death.

In Gun Control in Nazi-Occupied France: Tyranny and Resistance, attorney Stephen P. Halbrook explores the impact and efficacy of gun control measures on Wehrmacht-controlled France and how these measures hindered the French Resistance's fight against Nazi tyranny.