France is "awash with illegal firearms" transported into the country across porous European borders, says the president of Union Francaise des Amateurs d'Armes, a French gun society.
Jean-Jacques Buigne said he did not think the killer responsible for yesterday's attacks had a gun licence.
The killer used a heavy calibre .45 automatic pistol. It would be very complicated to obtain this weapon legally due to strict gun laws, but Buigne says open European borders mean a lot of smuggling takes place. He said:
"It's impossible to obtain authorisation for an arm like that if you're not 'clean'."
"It's very complicated to get a weapon like that legitimately. But in France lots of criminals use illegal arms and no law could change that."
The brother of gunman Mohamed Merah is being held by French police, following the discovery of explosives in his car.
It seemed to have been a text-book operation - but now it looks like a catalogue of mistakes
Mohamed Merah, the gunman who killed seven people in Toulouse has been shot dead by police after a 32-hour siege.