Not long after reality TV star Kim Kardashian was held up at gunpoint while staying in Paris, gun rights advocates expressed their thoughts about what seemed like an obvious irony: Kardashian, a vocal gun control supporter, was robbed at gunpoint in a country with strict gun laws.
On Monday, a day after the armed robbery, the National Rifle Association weighed in, sending what many say were sarcastic barbs at Kardashian and France’s strict gun regulations.
“Wait, criminals held @KimKardashian at gunpoint in Paris? How is that possible? Does anyone know if they passed a background check first?” one tweet said Monday afternoon.
“It’s shocking that these criminals did not subject themselves to Paris’ strict #guncontrol laws before committing this awful crime,” according to another one tweeted a few minutes later.
Other gun rights advocates also brought up the idea of self-defense, and whether Kardashian, who, in the past, had gone on social media rants about gun control, would consider it in light of recent events.
“I wonder how she feels about armed self-defense now?” Bob Owens, editor of Bearingarms.com, tweeted Monday morning.
Owens, who declined to comment to The Washington Post, also echoed the NRA in a column posted Monday.
“France has much more strict gun control than the United States, and yet her robbers were able to acquire weapons. It’s almost like gun control laws have little to no bearing on the ability of criminals to acquire weapons,” Owens wrote.
Conservative radio host Dana Loesch said in a tweet that she has nothing to say about the incident, other than she would “be down to help (Kardashian) get a carry permit and learn tactics to defend herself.”
Loesch didn’t respond to an email from The Post.
The robbery happened Sunday about 2:30 a.m., when Kardashian was staying in an apartment in Paris for Paris Fashion Week, according to media reports. The building concierge, handcuffed and held at gunpoint, led the thieves to Kardashian’s apartment, two police sources told the Associated Press.
The five robbers fled on bicycles with more than $10 million worth of jewelry. Two of them, the AP reported, forced their way into the apartment where Kardashian was staying.
The NRA’s tweets, sent hours later, were met with some backlash. Several media outlets said the gun rights organization mocked Paris’s gun laws and trolled Kardashian, who has expressed support for gun violence victims.
Mother Jones called the tweets “classless.” New York Magazine said the NRA politicized the incident. Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, said the organization attacked and belittled a victim of violence.
“So, according to NRA, it’s okay to ridicule a terrified victim of a crime if that person disagrees with you. Nice. In case you’re wondering just how low the biggest, wealthiest, most politically gun lobby would go, there’s your answer,” Arizona Republic columnist EJ Montini wrote.
The NRA has not responded to a request for comment from The Post, but in response to criticisms, the organization said on Twitter that it was merely expressing concern and confusion about how criminals in Paris were armed in the first place.
The right to privately own a gun is not guaranteed by law in France, where the number of gun-related deaths every year is far lower than that of the United States.
For instance, according to Gun Policy, civilians are not allowed to own fully automatic weapons and must have a license to own semiautomatic firearms. Private ownership of handguns that have a magazine of more than 20 cartridges and can shoot more than 21 rounds without reloading is prohibited. Rifles and shotguns with a magazine of more than 30 cartridges and capable of shooting more than 21 rounds without reloading also are not allowed for civilians.
Applicants for a license must establish specific reasons, such as hunting, target shooting or personal protection, for owning firearms. They must pass a background check, which includes looking into criminal, mental health and health records. Gun owners also must reapply and requalify for a firearm license every five years.
Kardashian’s husband, rapper Kanye West, was in New York at the time of the robbery. He was performing “Heartless” at the Meadows Music and Arts Festival when he abruptly ended the show.
“Family emergency,” he told the confused crowd.
The robbery left Kardashian “badly shaken, but physically unharmed,” a spokeswoman said in a statement to CNN.