In his address to the National Rifle Association, US President Donald Trump claimed that the victims could have stopped the deadly 2015 attacks on Paris, if they had guns.
France is sternly rejecting US President Donald Trump's argument that if Parisians had more guns they could have stopped the deadly 2015 attacks on the French capital.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian expressed his "firm disapproval" of Trump's remarks and vigorously defended France's gun controls.
In a statement Saturday, Le Drian said gun violence statistics "do not lead us to reconsider France's choice on this issue." Gun violence death rates are much higher in the US.
Le Drian continued: "Free circulation of weapons in society does not constitute a rampart against terrorist attacks, to the contrary, it can facilitate ... this type of attack."
Trump spoke at a National Rifle Association meeting in Texas on Friday.
"Nobody has guns in Paris and we all remember more than 130 people, plus tremendous numbers of people that were horribly, horribly wounded. You notice nobody ever talks about them," he told the audience.
"They were brutally killed by a small group of terrorists that had guns. They took their time and gunned them down one by one," Trump added.
He then mimicked the assailants shooting their weapons, saying: "Boom. Come over here. Boom, come over here. Boom."
2015 Paris attacks
The November 2015 attacks by gunman loyal to the Daesh group were the worst in France's history and left the capital and wider country deeply traumatised.
Attackers armed with assault rifles and suicide vests struck outside a France-Germany football match at the national stadium, cafes and bars, and the Bataclan concert hall in a coordinated assault that left 130 people dead and more than 350 wounded.
The comments from Trump came less than a week after French President Emmanuel Macron visited Washington as guest of honour for a state visit which saw both of the leaders eager to stress their friendship.
Former French president Francois Hollande and ex-prime minister Manuel Valls, who were in power at the time of the 2015 attacks, expressed their outrage in separate statements on Saturday.
Hollande called Trump's remarks "shameful" and said they "said a lot about what he (Trump) thinks of France and its values."
Valls wrote on Twitter "indecent and incompetent. What more can I say?"