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Were Shotguns Seized in Italy for Terrorists or Citizens?

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Article first appeared at Ammoland.com

Ammoland.com – Recent headlines blared “Paris attacks: Almost 800 pump-action shotguns seized by Italian police on way to Belgium, Germany and Holland“.

It is hard to see any connection between the shotguns (Winchester SXPs) that were seized and terrorists.  The shotguns were legally manufactured in Turkey.   It is important to note it is admitted that “customs rules were not broken“:

Although customs rules were not broken, police said the driver did not have licences required to transport the weapons and the Turkish manufacturer was reportedly accused of breaching national security regulations.

What apparently happened is that the manufacturer and customers fell victim to increased security checks put in place after the Paris attacks.  Demand for shotguns has been sky-rocketing in Europe since the invasion of millions of Muslim migrants started months ago.  It is not hard to understand why hundreds of shotguns would be destined for Belgium, Germany and Holland.  Shotguns are one of the easiest firearms to legally obtain in most countries with strict gun control.  The shotguns shown, Winchester SXPs, have extended magazines and folding stocks, which would severely limit ownership in some countries.

Pump action shotguns are legal in Germany, semi-automatic shotguns are not, except in rare circumstances.  It has been reported that demand for shotguns in Austria has emptied the shelves there.  It seems likely that similar demand would rise in Germany, Belgium, and Holland.  From the dailymail.co.uk:

And gun dealers report that it is women driving the sales rush. This year alone, police say 70,000 guns have been sold.

‘Virtually all shotguns are currently sold out, because you need no permit for them’, said Thomas Ortner, spokesman for an arms dealer in Upper Austria.

As terrorist attacks increase, demand for weapons rises as well.  And so do the current government attempts to keep weapons from their citizens.

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It may not always be so.  At least one European politician is calling for France to re-arm.  From rightwingnews.com:

France’s Marine Le Pen Calls for Nation to Re-Arm Itself – ‘Eradicate Radical Islam’ (Video)

Will European governments back off of their strict gun control policies?  I doubt that the present governments will.  But if more attacks succeed – and it seems likely that they will – those governments may be replaced.  France is a likely candidate to be the first.
France is already credited with having millions of illegal guns in the country.  The number is estimated at 7.5 million legal guns and 10-20 million illegal guns, many of them firearms from WWII.  If France backs off of its current strict gun control scheme, it will likely attempt some form of “amnesty” to have the illegal firearms brought into government control.  The French gun community has witnessed that numerous firearms designs have had their status arbitrarily changed in the past.  Pump shotguns were the latest example.   If owners did not want to undergo the stricter regulatory requirements, or could not meet them, the guns were required to be turned in.  With that experience in recent memory, it is likely that few old guns will be registered.  The people who own the illegal guns have already shown a propensity to distrust the government.

c2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included. Link to Gun Watch

About Dean Weingarten;

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

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