How to buy a firearm legally

There are several ways in France to acquire a firearm, most of which require time and paperwork. In this article we will show you the different possibilities available to you.

The categories of weapons are determined by the Internal Security Code in its articles L311-2 and following. There are four categories: A, B, C and D.

The Class A includes the wars of banned weapons acquisition unless special dispensation namely automatic weapons, semi-automatic weapons, high-capacity, war gauges and explosives.

The Class B includes the semiautomatic weapons either handguns or long guns, recently shotguns are part of this category . Some tasers and tear gas canisters are in category B. It requires a prefectural authorization which must be renewed every 5 years .

The Category C covers weapons manual repetition, their acquisition is subject to declaration.

Finally, category D concerns over-the- counter weapons , you just need to be of legal age to get them.

Sport shooting license: The most choices

The shooting license allows the purchase of category B and C weapons . In rare cases, it is possible to obtain an authorization for category A weapons, particularly in the event of international competitions. The shooting license is obtained first by registering at the shooting range with a medical certificate attesting to your ability to practice sport shooting. After registration you will receive your shooting license which you will have to have signed by a doctor.

The shooting license allows you to acquire category B weapons, ie semi-automatic handguns and semi-automatic long weapons in most calibers except war calibers. As already explained above, category B requires obtaining a prefectural authorization (valid for 5 years). To obtain this authorization, it is necessary to have previously participated in three controlled shooting sessions during a year .

It is also necessary to be in possession of a safe or a strong cabinet , you must prove that you are indeed in possession of such an installation by means of a sales receipt or an invoice. ‘installation.

Finally, it is obviously required not to have been the subject of convictions appearing in bulletin n ° 2 and 3 of the criminal record.

When you do not renew your shooting license or your prefectural authorization for category B weapons, you are obliged to give up the weapons concerned.


The shooting license also allows you to purchase category C weapons . This most often concerns hunting weapons (stacked, side-by-side barrels, low-capacity semi-automatic rifles ) and bolt action rifles / rifles . Once the license has been validated by your doctor, you are authorized to obtain a weapon of this category, the gunsmith or the private seller must be responsible for sending the transfer declaration cerfa to the prefecture.

Possession of a category C weapon also requires that ballots no. 2 and 3 be blank. If your shooting license is not renewed, you can keep your category C weapons but you will no longer be able to buy any weapons or ammunition in this category.

If you are looking to acquire your first bolt action rifle, we suggest that you see our articles related to Bushnell and Vortex riflescopes : Bushnell Engage , Bushnell Forge , Vortex Viper PST and Vortex Crossfire II . You can also read our article “How to choose a riflescope for shooting or hunting” via the “Guides and Tutorials” section at the top of the page.

The hunting license and the ball-trap license allow the purchase of only category C weapons. In both cases, a medical certificate is required.

The hunting license is similar to the driving license, it is necessary to pass a theoretical test and a practical test. These two exams are not to be taken lightly and require a bit of work. Some practical test workshops, primarily based on safety, may be eliminatory. Once the hunting license is in your pocket, it must be validated each year, this validation is chargeable. Finally, it is necessary to take out a civil liability insurance contract.

The ball-trap license also allows the purchase of category C weapons.

In the case of the hunting license and the ball-trap license, the non-renewal of one of them does not oblige you to give up your category C weapons.

Black powder guns have the advantage of being over-the-counter and not being registered in any administrative register.

They are less suitable for home defense because of their reloading, but their stopping power is very important. The weight of the projectiles of black powder weapons compensates for their slower speed. Thus a 141grain bullet is 9.1g, with a powder charge dosed at 2.2g fired in a classic Remington 1858 model in caliber 44. will release a kinetic energy of 370 joules at the output of the barrel ( source ). So this amount of kinetic energy is practically the same as that of 9mm caliber projectiles.

Black powder weapons also have an advantage in terms of stopping power. as the warheads are made entirely of lead, a soft material, the energy transfer is much greater compared to modern, harder warheads. Besides, the caliber 44. was used a lot by the cavalry because it was powerful enough to kill horses during battles. Today some American hunters hunt wild boar using black powder revolvers in caliber 44.

The soldiers of the time used to – in order to reduce the effects of humidity on the powder in the barrel – to measure out the powder beforehand and enclose it in a small sausage made of cigarette paper. The paper made it possible to increase the life of the powder by limiting the effects of humidity in the ambient air and therefore to be able to keep a charged barrel for days. Thus the powder sausages were inserted into the barrel, followed by the projectile itself sealed with grease for weapon. They also prepared several barrels in advance so that they could immediately change the barrel and continue the fight.

Black powder rifles are also not left out in terms of long-range shooting because some hunters manage to hit game several hundred meters away. In the video below a hunter manages to take an antelope at 650m with a black powder rifle.



Towards a total ban on weapons in France

For several years we have been witnessing the progressive restriction of access and possession of weapons . Indeed, everyone knows that criminals and terrorists respect the law with regard to the possession of weapons, it is absolutely not a problem of free passage and the absence of border control. It is therefore necessary to prevent any citizen, even respecting the law, from being able to obtain weapons, even to defend themselves since the police are there to protect us. This is the official logic of governments, especially unelected European institutions .

The French Constitution does not provide for any provision allowing the protection of the right to possess weapons. A simple decree is sufficient to recall and destroy all civilian weapons recorded on registers , which is what happened during the Second World War. This is where black powder weapons come in handy .

In any case, we see that even in the United States, a federal state whose Constitution is rigid (that is to say difficult to modify) and protects the right to bear and possess arms, the Democrats manage in the states to restrict these constitutional rights. . American history is special since independence was torn from the crown of England, the conflict at the time opposed civilians against the English government. The founding fathers therefore guaranteed this right in order to allow citizens to protect themselves against despotic and unjust governments. The idea was to arm each household so that any body of the state having the force, however armed and obeying intolerable orders from the point of view of political freedom and human dignity, is confronted. by force of numbers.

The crisis of the yellow vests would have had a completely different outcome if our Constitution allowed the possession of weapons in a manner as liberal as in the United States.

We recently saw in Switzerland a restriction of access to weapons following foreign interference (referendum of May 19, 2019), that of the European Commission . The European Commission has put pressure on and threatened Switzerland with legal and economic sanctions if it does not adopt certain restrictive measures on its arms legislation. Switzerland is one of the most armed countries in Europe, but gun-related violence is almost non-existent.

It is particularly worrying that unelected institutions, allowing themselves to dictate the conduct of third countries, and seek to restrict access to weapons to law-abiding citizens. These restrictive laws are not intended to protect populations but to protect governments.

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