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France unveils plan against firearms trafficking

media French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, August 2015 Reuters/Regis Duvignau

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve unveiled on Friday a plan to fight proliferation and arms trafficking in France. Cazeneuve announced the plan in an interview with the daily newspaper Le Parisien.

Cazeneuve told Le Parisien, “arms trafficking feeds and supports various form of criminality such as score-settling and narcotics smuggling,” adding that arms trafficking also interconnects with terrorism.

Among the measures, Cazeneuve announced targeted controls starting as soon as this Friday, the creation of a national coordination department headed by the Interior Ministry, additional intelligence capacity building on arms trade, and increased sentences by 2016.

Cazeneuve said the plan will pay particular attention to cross-border networks, internet control, rifle clubs, and arms manufacturing.

The measures aim to enforce laws around the possession of arms within French territory. In 2014 French authorities seized more than 5,300 firearms, including 175 war weapons. France records 1,800 firearm deaths each year.

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