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Gun Control in Nazi-Occupied France
Tyranny and Resistance
Price: $29.95

You may pre-order this title now and we will ship it to you when it is available.

Hardcover • 256 pages • 6 x 9 inches

ISBN-13: 978-1-59813-307-3

Publication Date: June 1, 2018

Publisher: Independent Institute


Formats
Hardcover (ISBN 978-1-59813-307-3)
eBook Coming Soon
Gun Control in Nazi-Occupied France
Tyranny and Resistance
Price: $29.95

You may pre-order this title now and we will ship it to you when it is available.

Hardcover • 256 pages • 6 x 9 inches

ISBN-13: 978-1-59813-307-3

Publication Date: June 1, 2018

Publisher: Independent Institute


Formats
Hardcover (ISBN 978-1-59813-307-3)
eBook Coming Soon

Overview

Nazi Germany invaded France in 1940. In every occupied town, Nazi soldiers put up posters that demanded that civilians surrender their firearms within twenty-four hours or else be shot. Despite the consequences, many French citizens refused to comply with the order. In Gun Control in Nazi-Occupied France: Tyranny and Resistance, Stephen P. Halbrook tells this story of Nazi repression and the brave French men and women who refused to surrender to it.

Taking advantage of a prewar 1935 French gun registration law, the Nazis used registration records kept by the French police to easily locate gun owners to enforce their demand that firearms be surrendered. Countless French citizens faced firing squads for refusing to comply. But many French citizens had resisted the 1935 decree, preventing the Nazis from fully enforcing the confiscation order. Throughout the Nazi occupation, the French Resistance grew, arming itself to conduct resistance activities and fight back against the occupation.

Drawing on records of the German occupation and testimonies from members of the French resistance, Gun Control in Nazi-Occupied France is the first book to focus on the Nazis’ efforts to disarm the French.

Contents

Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction

1. Crisis in the Third Republic
2. Pierre Laval Decrees Firearm Registration
3. Blitzkrieg, Defeat, and Twenty-Four Hours to Turn in Your Gun or Be Shot
4. Occupation and Collaboration
5. Weapons Possession: The Core of Criminal Activities of the French
6. Amnesty or Execution
7. Arms for the Resistance
8. Liberation

Concluding Thoughts
Bibliography
Index
About the Author

Praise

“Stephen Halbrook has done it again, broken new ground with meticulous historical ‘gun control’ research. This is the harrowing story of Nazi and Vichy government savage repression of French gun owners, in part made possible by pre-war French firearms registration. Gun Control in Nazi-Occupied France is an important and highly readable addition to scholarship on how dictators and invaders have disarmed conquered populations.”
James B. Jacobs, Chief Justice Warren E. Burger Professor of Constitutional Law and the Courts; Director, Center for Research in Crime and Justice; New York University; author, Can Gun Control Work?

Gun Control in Nazi-Occupied France is an impressive addition to the already vast literature on the Second World War. The book is filled with useful information from primary sources, much of it previously unpublished. Halbrook vividly depicts the terrible years of the occupation of France by German armed forces, in particular from the viewpoint of French owners of firearms, mainly hunting weapons but also miscellaneous military arms retained by the families of soldiers in prior wars. One of Hitler’s major objectives was to see France (and other conquered territories) completely firearms-free, and major efforts to this end were expended by the German armed forces and their French collaborators. Two aspects of Halbrook’s story are of obvious relevance for contemporary debates about civilian possession of firearms. First, although the Germans collected truckloads of firearms from all over France, they didn’t get all of them—or even, perhaps, most of them. Despite threatening the most draconian penalties (including the death penalty, which was carried out in thousands of instances), and despite unlimited powers to search any premises at any time without giving reasons, occupation authorities simply could not successfully disarm a population that was unwilling to cooperate with them. Second, many of the guns that remained in civilian hands found their way to the Resistance, which valued handguns in particular. It is not that people with side arms could credibly threaten to take on organized formations of the German army. But as Halbrook shows, guns played an indispensable moralizing role for the Resistance. Because its members were able to arm and protect themselves, the Resistance was able to survive and grow, and as it grew stronger it did play an increasingly important role in harrying occupation forces, providing vital intelligence to the Allied armies, and preparing the ground for Europe's eventual liberation.”
Daniel D. Polsby, Professor of Law, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University

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