France train shooting: Gunman’s weapon highlights rise in black market firearms

The heavily armed shooter who was taken down by three unarmed US men on a train outside Arras was reportedly carrying a Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifle, along with nine magazines and up to 300 rounds of ammunition.

Security experts have been quick to point out that this is the same type weapon used by the masked, black-clad killers whose Paris attack on the offices of French comic Charlie Hebdo took 12 lives in January, prompting a major security alert across France.


But Gun Control!

  • Tom Quiggin

    In 2012, I was involved in an investigation in the Netherlands involving automatic rifles and bank robberies. The Dutch federal police (KONINKLIJKE MARECHAUSSEE) had recovered one of the weapons (AK 47 variant).
    When we asked if this could be traced to its origin, the police said that so many AK and their variants were moving around Europe so fast that tracking them had become almost a meaningless exercise.
    Most of the AKs in the NL at that time were Albanian/Chinese knockoffs (Type 56). Tens of thousands of them were “liberated” from Albanian weapons storage sites when the govt there collapsed in (again) in 1997.
    This does not, of course, include all the AK variants coming in from former Soviet republics following the collapse of the USSR and the org crime wave that followed.
    Long story short: Lots of weapons in Europe for anyone who wants one. Gun control will not work as the market is flooded with illegal assault rifles.

    • It seems every terrorist who has wanted one has found no difficulty in procuring an AK.

      • Drunk_by_Noon

        The bad guys do love the Kalashnikovs.
        Maybe they work with what they can get, or what they know?
        An AK does make sense if you are going to acquire a weapons and not spend any effort maintaining it.
        I also think that is one of the reasons our shooter in this instance was able to be stopped.
        I suspect that our terrorist’s aftermarket magazines had some kind of feed issues (he was using some aftermarket plastic ones and not the O.E.M. metal ones) judging by what I have read and seen.

        That kind of problem would be more common than you would think, especially in Europe where there is not many places to go fire your AK to get the bugs sorted out. This would-be jihadist might likely have never fired that weapons before that day.

        • luna

          Reports are many foreigners have been trained by isis and sent back as known wolves.

        • Tom Quiggin

          The AK -at least the well made ones – are dependable, cheap, easy to maintain and reasonable accurate at shorter ranges. Far better weapon for most armies and terrorists etc. If forced into some bizarre situation, i would pick the AK over any of the western equivalents such as M-16, C7 etc.

          • Drunk_by_Noon

            I’m mostly in agreement with you, especially if I’m in Europe or some other country that is going to frown upon my “scary black rifle” collection and getting some quality range time in with them after work.
            I’m not a big fan of the AK family, but if I’m going to be a terrorist and in the market for a one time use weapon, to be used by marginally trained Allah-bots, then an AK looks pretty darned good.
            For personal use, I’ll still stick with the AR-15/M-16/M4 family, but if I’m going to be Johnny Jihad, then an AK makes more sense.
            Cheaper, easier to get, and mostly idiot proof.

    • David Murrell

      Yes, but to social progressives, gun running by organized crime is ok. But to progressives the police must crack down on farmers and others owning shotguns.

  • luna
  • Hard Little Machine

    An AK definitely is easy to get anywhere in the world. There’s something like 300 million of them floating around. They’re made in 20 countries and a 12 year old can use it. I prefer the 7.62 chamber (.308) but for the kids you will want the 5.45 chamber used in the AK74. Less kick less likely to blow your own guys heads off.

    FN-FAL owner. Kill Commies.

  • tom_billesley

    Won’t using an expression like “black market” upset the politically correct?