Belfast Telegraph

Liam Neeson: US arms manufacturer severs ties with Taken actor after Charlie Hebdo gun control comments

The US arms manufacturer that supplied weapons for Taken 3 has openly criticised the film’s lead actor Liam Neeson for blaming terror attacks on the lack of gun control in the US and abroad.

“There's just too many f**king guns out there,” he told Gulf News when asked about the recent shootings in Paris at the office of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

“Especially in America. I think the population is like, 320 million? There's over 300 million guns. Privately owned, in America.”

PARA USA has since announced it would be cutting its ties with the franchise and Neeson, and called on other gun manufacturers to do the same.

“PARA USA regrets its decision to provide firearms for use in the film Taken 3,” a statement posted on the company’s Facebook page read.

“While the film itself is entertaining, comments made by its Irish-born star during press junkets reflect a cultural and factual ignorance that undermines support of the Second Amendment and American liberties.

“We will no longer provide firearms for use in films starring Liam Neeson and ask that our friends and partners in Hollywood refrain from associating our brand and products with his projects. Further, we encourage our partners and friends in the firearms industry to do the same.”

Neeson is yet to respond to PARA USA’s reaction to his comments.

During his interview with Gulf News, Neeson further denied that violent action films – like Taken – contribute to the problem by glamorising gun use.

“A character like Bryan Mills going out with guns and taking revenge: it's fantasy,” Neeson said. “It's in the movies, you know? I think it can give people a great release from stresses in life and all the rest of it, you know what I mean? It doesn't mean they're all going to go out and go, 'Yeah, let's get a gun!'”

Growing up watching cowboy films, he pointed out, had not transformed him into a murderous fanatic.

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