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Hundreds of guns, grenades, ammo seized from French sports shop owner

Hundreds of assault rifles, shotguns, and pistols, along with hand grenades and 100 kilos of ammunition, have been confiscated from a sports shop owner in the northern French port town of Boulogne-sur-Mer.

Hundreds of guns, grenades, ammo seized from French sports shop owner
Screenshot: Douane Francaise

Customs officials displayed the arsenal on a video on Youtube (see below) that shows line after line of the weapons seized.

The man was stopped by officials in a post office in Boulogne as he was trying to send a package to the Netherlands that was found to contain a rifle.

When customs officers searched his vehicle they found a handgun and bullets. They then proceeded to his home, accompanied by police with dogs trained to sniff out explosives.

French customs office video shows the massive haul of weapons seized 

There they discovered rooms packed with loaded shotguns, more ammunition and weapons parts, none of which the man was licensed to keep.

They completed their hunt at a warehouse rented by the same individual, where they came across racks of assault rifles, machine guns,  pistols, cartridges and a workshop for retooling weaponry.

In total, 488 guns, 13 grenades, 1,309 weapons parts, and more than 100 kilos of cartridges and ammunition were seized, customs officials said in a statement.

The man was a former gunsmith who no longer has permits allowing him to own weapons.

Legal authorities are now pursuing the matter with him.

OFFBEAT

French mayor tries to shoot cat but hits schoolboy in head

A mayor of a village in the Charente area of western France was being held in custody after accidentally shooting a boy in the head when he was aiming for a cat.

French mayor tries to shoot cat but hits schoolboy in head
File Photo: Rande Archer/Flickr

According to reports in the local press Eric Lambert, the mayor of the village of Malaville, near the city of Angoulême at 7am.

He had apparently targeted his 22 caliber rifle at a cat who was encroaching a little too close to his hen house but his aim was off.

But the bullet missed the feline, ricocheted off an object and then struck the boy who was waiting patiently for a bus.

The boy was rushed to hospital in Bordeaux and was due to undergo an operation. His condition is not believed to be life threatening.

Prosecutors immediately opened an investigation and the mayor of Malaville was placed in custody and questioned over the incident.

It's not the first time in France that someone has accidentally shot a child whilst aiming their gun at an animal.

The Local reported previously how a pensioner accidentally shot his son three times after apparently mistaking him for a black bird that was raiding the family cherry tree.

And France's hunting season is littered with tragic stories of people being accidentally shot, often fatally.

Pensioner shoots son mistaking him for bird

The latest incident will no doubt raise questions over whether the mayor should have been able to carry a rifle.

France has strict gun control laws but nevertheless gun ownership is widespread in France.

France is in 12th place in the world in the rankings of gun ownership, according to the Small Arms Survey.
 
The estimated total number of guns held by civilians – both legally and illegally – in France is around 10 million, according to figures published last year by Gun Policy, a project run by the University of Sydney.
 
But other studies say that there may be as many 20 million weapons owned by civilians in the nation of 65 million people.

READ ALSO: Five things to know about guns in France