The subject of gun crime is back on the agenda in France after two separate shootings outside nightclubs within a matter of days. The government has vowed to take action while fearful nightclub owners are demanding police support.
By Ben MCPARTLAND (text)
A second nightclub shooting on consecutive weekends in France forced authorities on Monday to promise swift action against the growing issue of gun crime.
Ten people were injured in the early hours of Sunday morning when a man armed with a hunting rifle burst into the Vamos nightclub in the northern town of Bertry and opened fire, sending panicked revellers and staff running for cover.
The attack came just a week after a cloak-room attendant and a party-goer were killed at Theatro nightclub in the northern city of Lille when a gunman shot indiscriminately at terrified staff and patrons, with what was believed to be a Kalashnikov. Five other people were injured.
The shootings have sparked concern among the government, France’s poorer communities, where guns are seemingly more and more commonplace, and those who work in the night-club industry.
Gun crime a ‘priority’
Mustafa Belaïdi, whose 27-year-old son Hamza was killed in the Theatro club shooting, led the calls for tougher action.“We must dismantle the gun networks and severely punish those who carry military weapons,” he said.
It continues to say:
“Authorities are under pressure to explain how both alleged gunmen, who had a history of violent crime, were able to get access to firearms despite the existence of a recent law which bans criminals convicted of violent crimes from owning weapons.”
No names of course.