Gun Ownership & Shooting in France
‘To a Brit, gun ownership seemed as unlikely as walking on the moon’
When best-selling author Alan Pearce moved to France and wanted to join a gun club he found the process so complicated he almost gave up.
‘My French was really poor and I had no one to hold my hand and steer me through the seemingly complicated process,’ he says.
But one year on and Pearce has a gun collection that includes a Colt 1911 and an M4 assault-rifle. He has now written a straight-forward guide - Gun Ownership & Shooting in France - which he hopes will help other expats take up one of the most popular sports across the Channel.
‘Actually, the process of gun ownership here is remarkably easy; I just needed some patience and help filling in the forms,’ he says.
‘In all, it took me less than a year to build my gun collection. And, knowing what I now know, it seems only right to pass my knowledge along.’
His short e-book contains everything you need to know to own firearms or take up shooting with details on how to join the three main sports federations – Tir, Ball Trap and Chasse.
There are also sections on buying arms, storage and transport, and making your own ammunition, together with links to important documents and websites.
‘Back home in the UK if I declared in polite society my own interest in guns I would get a few askance looks,’ says Pearce who has written a series of books on health and safety madness in Britain.
Not so in France where just under a quarter of all households have guns, often between three and four per house, with around 20 million registered firearms in circulation – that’s with a population of 66 million.
‘In France, having a gun is not considered odd,’ he says. ‘So I joined my local gun club. I started off with a simple, inexpensive black powder revolver and now I have a shotgun, a hunting rifle, a semi-automatic assault rifle and a .45ACP handgun. To me, this seems just as unlikely as walking on the moon.’
Pearce says joining a club helped improve his French. ‘I got the numbers system off pat within a week because everybody at the club talks about caliber, distances and powder weights. I made friends and got to fire their weapons, too.
‘And I was lucky in my choice of club. Some can be a bit sterile where you just shoot at paper targets at varying distances. Others, like my own, are more anarchic, although just as hot on safety. If I want to drag along a giant refrigerator and blast it to pieces with a shotgun, no one will bat an eyelid.’
Pearce says his book is a continuing work in progress. E-books can be updated more swiftly and easily than conventional books and it’s hoped to continue to bring out improved editions. ‘So all help, comments and suggestions gratefully received,’ says Pearce.
Gun Ownership & Shooting in France is published on August 10 and is available for all digital e-book readers via Amazon and www.smashwords.com or direct at a discount from his website www.alanpearce.com/gun price Euros 3.99.