France condemns Trump over claim armed civilians could have stopped 2015 Paris attacks

The French government called for the memory of the victims of the attack which killed 130 people 'to be respected'

Chloe Farand
Saturday 05 May 2018 20:37
Trump links Paris attack victim number to France's strict gun laws

France has condemned Donald Trump's comment that armed civilians could have stopped the 2015 Paris attacks, which killed 130 people.

In a statement, the French government demanded President Trump "respect the memory of the victims of the 13 November attack".

"France expresses its firm disapproval of President Trump's comments in relation to the attack of the 13 November 2015 in Paris and we demand that the memory of the victims be respected.

"Each country can freely decide its own legislation on gun control. France is proud to be a country where the purchase and possession of fire arms are strictly regulated," it said.

The statement added that given the statistics on victims of fire arms, the French government would not be reviewing its policy.

"The free circulation of fire arms in a society does not constitute a barrier against terrorist attacks, on the contrary this can facilitate the planning of these kind of attacks," the French government said.

France's comments came after Mr Trump slammed the UK and France's gun laws during a speech to the National Rifle Association Leadership Forum.

He claimed loosening gun laws could help better protect citizens from terror attacks and that a civilian could have stopped the massacre at the Bataclan concert hall, where 90 of the 130 victims died, had they had a gun.

"But if one employee or just one patron had a gun – or if one person in this room had been there with a gun, aimed at the opposite direction – the terrorists would have fled or been shot, and it would have been a whole different story," Mr Trump said.

Mr Trump has sought to reassure members of the US's largest gun rights lobbying group of his support for the rights of citizens to bear fire arms under the Second Amendment.

He called France's gun laws "the toughest in the world".

Former French president Francois Hollande, who was head of state at the time, said on Twitter that Mr Trump's comments and antics were "shameful" and "obscene".

Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo said Mr Trump's portrayal of the 2015 attacks was "contemptuous and unworthy".

During his speech, Mr Trump also suggested knife violence in London left one hospital looking like a "war zone" prompting a furious backlash.

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