Gun laws in France

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In France, to buy a weapon, in line with the European Firearms Directive, a hunting licence or a shooting sport licence is necessary depending on the type, function and magazine capacity of the weapon.

Firearms classification[edit]

As of September 2015, classification has been simplified to 4 categories:[1]

  • Category A:
    • Category A1: Firearms disguised as another object, firearms with fully automatic fire capacities, firearms of a caliber greater than 20mm, handgun magazine with a capacity greater than 20 rounds, and rifles or shotguns magazine with a capacity greater than 31 rounds. There is an exception for magazine capacity for IPSC (TSV in French) shooter with a certificate of the shooting range were they are registered.
    • Category A2: military material, material to transport or use weapons in combat and combat-gas protection.
  • Category B:
    • Category B1: Handguns with a capacity of 20 rounds or fewer, also include revolver.
    • Category B2: Manually operated long guns with a capacity between 11 and 31 rounds, semi-automatic long guns with a capacity between 3 and 31 rounds and smooth bore pump-action shotgun.
    • Category B4: Any firearm chambered for the following calibers: 7.62×39mm; 5.56×45mm NATO; 5.45×39mm; .50 BMG; 14.5×114mm.
    • Category B5: Any registered parts of all b categorized firearms such as bolt, barrel, silencer, magazine, etc .
    • Category B6, B7, B8: Specific weapon for riot and order control (non accesible for civilian).
  • Category C: Manual operation long guns with a capacity of 11 rounds or less, semi-automatic long guns with a capacity of 3 rounds or less.
  • Category D: Pepper spray,canne fusil, blank guns, black powder guns, deactivated guns and guns with a brevet older than the first january 1900 except some of them.

Individuals cannot own more than 12 B cathegorized firearms, cannot own more than 10 magazines for and stored more than 1000 rounds per firearm .

Ammunition Classification[edit]

Ammunition are in the same category as the gun they are buy for, for exemple a 44magnum buy for a revolver is classified as B and a 44magnum buy for a lever-action carabine in category C is categorized C.

Some exception exist for calibers quote under.

  • Category B: quota of 2000 rounds per year with a maximum of 1000 in stock, you need an id card or resident card and the authorisation of ownership to buy those ammunitions.
    • 7,62 x 39.
    • 5,56 x 45 (223 rem).
    • 5,45 x 39 russian.
    • 12,7 x 99.
    • 14,5 x 114.
  • Category c-6°: maximum of 1000 in stock, you need an id card or resident card and the acknowledgment of receipt of ownership to buy those ammunitions.
    • 25-20 Winchester (6, 35 x 34 R).
    • 32-20 Winchester (8 x 33 Winchester) or 32-20-115.
    • 38-40 Remington (10,1 x 33 Winchester).
    • 44-40 Winchester ou 44-40-200.
    • 44 Remington magnum.
    • 45 Colt or 45 long Colt.
  • Category C-7°: maximum of 1000 in stock, you need an id card or resident card and a hunting licence or a shooting licence and the acknowledgment of receipt of ownership to buy those ammunitions.
    • 7,5x54 MAS.
    • 7,5 x 55 Swiss.
    • 30 M1 (7,62 x 33).
    • 7,62 x 51 or (7,62 x 51 NATO) or 308 Winchester or 308 NATO.
    • 7,92 X 57 Mauser or 7,92 x 57 JS or 8 x 57 J or 8 x 57 JS or 8 mm Mauser.
    • 7,62 x 54 R or 7,62 x 54 R Mosin Nagant.
    • 7,62 x 63 or 30,06 Springfield.
    • 303 British or 7,7 x 56.
  • Category C-8°: You need an id card or resident card and a hunting licence or a shooting licence to buy those ammunitions.
    • Auther rifle munition (Ex : 7x64, 9,3x62...).
  • Category D-1°: You need an id card or resident card and a hunting licence or a shooting licence to buy those ammunitions.
  • Category D-2°: You need an id card or resident card and a hunting licence and be older than 18 year old.

Storage[edit]

  • Category A: No storage restriction due to the interdiction of civilians.
  • Category B: Firearms, ammunition and registered firearms parts have to be stored in a gun safe.
  • Category C: Firearms and ammunition can be stored in a safe or ammunition have to be stored without giving easy access and firearms(unloaded) have to be stored in a way that they can't use immediately, by using a lock or have them attached to a wall for example.
  • Category D:
    • Category D1: Firearms and ammunition can be stored in a safe or ammunition have to be stored without giving easy access and firearms(unloaded) have to be stored in a way that they can't be used immediately, by using a lock or have them attached to a wall for example.
    • Category D2: No Storage restriction.

Ownership and purchase conditions[edit]

  • Category D requires the owner to be older than 18 (with the exception of paintball and air guns, which can be acquired by minors).
  • Category C requires the owner to be older than 18, have a hunting licence or be affiliated with a shooting range, and have a medical certificate.
  • Category B requires the owner to be older than 18, be affiliated with a shooting range, have attended at least 3 shooting sessions with an instructor, and have a medical certificate. The shooter then receives a 5 year authorization to purchase and own of Category B firearms (and therefore Category C firearms since they are affiliated with a shooting range). A shooter between the ages of 16 and 18 can own Category B firearms if they participate in international shooting competitions.
  • No civilian may carry any of the Category A weapons.[clarification needed] A special form allows a civilian to apply for a 1 year carry license, which allows them to carry a handgun and a maximum of 50 rounds, if they are "exposed to exceptional risks to their life". In practice, such authorizations are rare.

Since the November 2015 Paris attacks, police officers are allowed to carry their firearms while off duty.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Armes" [Arms] (in French). Direction de l'information légale et administrative. Retrieved 2016-09-06.