The Principality of Monaco plans to follow in the footsteps of its surrounding French neighbours by organising a national day dedicated to the collection of weapons and ammunition that have been found or inherited by individuals.

At the end of 2022, France managed to collect more than 150,000 weapons without inflicting legal or administrative proceedings on the weapons’ former owners.

The number of weapons in Monaco is much smaller but so is the country. Monaco police have listed 760 defence and hunting firearms in circulation in the state. However, the number of firearms that remain unknown to the authorities makes for a greater total number of weapons in the Principality, according to sources.

It was during the eviction of a British man from his Monaco residence that Monegasque police officers discovered 17 rifles and pistols hanging on the wall along with the corresponding ammunition. Only some of these weapons were undeclared, and the Brit was subsequently sentenced to a fine of 18,000 euros in 2022.

The head of the Administrative Police Division, Rémy Le Juste, addressed the topic at the Monaco Police’s well wishes for the New Year, saying “this is a major subject which deserves everyone’s attention, given the somewhat troubled international context that we are going through.”

Le Juste admitted that “It still happens that our services intervene with individuals who find themselves owners through inheritance of undeclared weapons dating from the Second World War,” and added: “We encourage, from now on, all people who find themselves, despite themselves, possessing weapons to call on our services: either to have them destroyed or to make them unfit for their use, and this, without these people being subject to criminal charges, subject of course to the agreement of the judicial authorities.”

Monaco police have had 119 weapons destroyed or neutralised by the Monaco Armoury since 2021.