Laval and France's ruling parties feared social revolution and banned "war" weapons, instituting strict gun registration policies. They believed that repressive limits on civilian gun ownership were necessary at a time of Depression-sparked unrest and ongoing conflicts among various political factions. Strict time limits for firearms registration and harsh penalties for noncompliance, including forfeiture, fines, and imprisonment, were put in place. Laval's government did not foresee the impact these restrictive measures would have on a Nazi-conquered France just five years later, when firearms surrender would be required under threat of death.
In Gun Control in Nazi-Occupied France: Tyranny and Resistance, attorney Stephen P. Halbrook explores the impact and efficacy of gun control measures on Wehrmacht-controlled France and how these measures hindered the French Resistance's fight against Nazi tyranny. The author asserts that Laval's 1935 gun control efforts left the French people vulnerable to the Nazi invaders and ill equipped to deal with the Nazi invasion of 1940, plus simplified the Nazi efforts to confiscate firearms and impede a French resistance.