You want to have a hunting rifle, but not for hunting? In France, there are now approximately 1,1 million hunters, According to National Federation of Hunters (FNC). This practice is legally protected but the laws concerning it can quickly change. It is therefore necessary to be attentive to the rules concerning firearms, including shotguns.
Are you looking to buy a shotgun to hunt game in the forest? Have you been offered ammunition and wondering if you can keep it inside your home without compromising your safety? Not sure if you need a hunting license to own a firearm?
Read our article to determine whether you intend to become a hunter or not.
Who is allowed by law to own a shotgun?
In general, only adults with an official hunting license are able to purchase weapons and ammunition. After the age of 16, the possession of a hunting weapon is authorized, with the approval of an adult.
You will still need to visit an armory in person, and create an account for yourself in the brand new Weapons Information System, also known as SIA. This is the latest computerized platform used by the Ministry of the Interior. The new procedure was announced on February 8, 2022.
The truth is more complicated. If you do not practice shooting sports or are not an avid hunter or hunter, you will not be able to own lethal firearms.
Most hunters have several weapons that correspond to different hunting modes, and are adapted to each type of game. The same organization that promotes hunting revealed on its website that one million hunters own a total of 2,1 million weapons on French territory.
If you have permission, you can carry your firearm at any time during the hunting season. Take care that the weapon is not immediately operational.
How to secure the firearm in your house? Install a cable in the trigger guard or disassemble the weapon to ensure that it cannot be used immediately. Put the item you took out in a safe place and everything else in a sturdy box.
Category C weapons for hunters
Here are the weapons that hunters can legally possess. All of his weapons are part of what are called C-category weapons.
- Semi-automatic repeating weapons with an outer diameter of less than 20 millimeters, equipped with non-removable feed systems and capable of firing up to 3 rounds without loading.
- Portable repeating firearms with an outer diameter of less than 20 millimeters and equipped with feed systems that allow up to 11 shots to be fired without having to reload and the feed systems that are included in these firearms.
- Long guns that have a single shot per barrel
- Rifle-barreled repeating long guns that are equipped with a pump-action reloading mechanism for 8 12 14 16, 20, 24 28 32 36 and 41 calibers with a capacity of up to 5 cartridges. The length of the barrel is more than 80 centimeters. Barrel length over 60 centimeters. Fixed stock.
- Weapon Components
- Firearms designed to fire either a bullet or a number of non-metallic projectiles, classified as category C by order of the Minister of the Interior and the Ministers of Customs and Industry.
- Launchers and weapons that propel the projectile in a non-pyrotechnic manner with an energy equal to or greater than 20 joules (hunting bow, for example).
- Weapons or types of weapons with similar characteristics are classified in category C by order of the Minister of the Interior as well as the ministers in charge of customs and industry.
- Ammunition and ammunition components have been classified in category C by joint order of the Minister of the Interior as well as the Ministers of Customs and Industry.
- Other ammunition and ammunition components belonging to category C weapons.
- Weapons neutralized
What category of weapons can you carry without a hunting license?
The law classifies weapons into eight categories. The first includes the most dangerous (such as munitions of war). The last category includes hunting or shooting weapons that are available to those who want to collect them.
Thus, a hunter can buy a shotgun rated in the 5th and 7th categories (or D and C). This is the information found in the rules governing the purchase and possession of a firearm for hunting.
Some smoothbore shotguns that fire one shot at a time are available for sale. They are classified in the 5th category (or category D). They require a valid hunting license for the current year.
Other category 5 and 7 shotguns must be declared. According to the law, those who do not declare their weapons are liable to two years in prison and a fine of 30 euros. The transition period will expire on June 000, 30. In addition to the obligation to register to hold weapons, it is necessary to present a hunting license.
Here is the list of hunting weapons that must be registered (via the SIA system):
- Rifle that fires one shot in a smoothbore barrel (simplex side-by-side, over-and-under);
- Semi-automatic shotgun with a non-removable magazine capable of firing less than 3 rounds.
- Manual repeating shotgun that can hold a maximum capacity of 11 shots, without loading.
Do you want to keep the rifle that your grandfather inherited without a hunting license? You will not be able to fire your weapon in the open air but you can have it neutralized to make it ineligible for shooting. Contact the National Test House of Saint-Étienne to ensure your safety as well as that of the people around you.
How do I get a game hunting license?
It is important to remember that you must obtain a hunting license when planning to hunt animals. It is the National Office for Hunting and Wildlife (ONCFS) that will issue it to you.
To pass it, you must pass a one-day exam after having followed a training course offered by one of the departmental federations of hunters. Organized by the French Office for Biodiversity (OFB), the tests consist of theoretical questions as well as practical exercises. If you are at least 15 years old, you can register.
If you pass the exam, you will get your gun hunting license. The current law grants 15-year-olds who meet this condition the possibility of hunting in groups. It's a question of safety! This authorization lasts for one year and can be renewed.
If you want to renew the validity of the official document mentioned above, you can start the process with any hunting federation. You can hunt on the hunting ground during the period between July 1 of the current year and June 1 and June 30 of the following year. However, you are allowed to keep your gun when your license has not been renewed. This is not a violation of the law!
What defense weapon can I buy without authorization?
If you do not have a hunting permit or a shooting license, it is still possible to buy a self-defense weapon to defend yourself in the event of an attack.
Do you want to buy a self-defense weapon to protect yourself and your family members but you do not have a hunting license or a shooting permit? As we have already mentioned, some models are accessible to everyone, provided they are of legal age. Here are some examples of D-class defensive weapons you can acquire:
With CS gas (tear gas) or pepper spray, aerosols can repel the attacker in no time. However, it is important to aim well and take into account the direction of the wind, otherwise you risk being the victim of your personal weapon to defend yourself!
The shockers work with electricity, and are weapons adapted to the public. These small devices, which look like mobile phones, are renowned for their amazing efficiency. They are able to paralyze attackers for a few seconds, allowing you to flee or seek help. The best-known models are those of the Taser(r) which is used in particular by law enforcement.
With their believable appearance and loud sound, revolvers and blank firing pistols are weapons designed to impress. They are used in movies and plays to give a touch of authenticity. Ammunition is usually cartridges filled with black powder with a PVC shutter. They are also called blank cartridges.
There are also pepper guns which are not used to flavor your salads but rather to put out of harm's way your attacker.
Although it is not reserved for the specialties of Jean-Claude Van Damme or Steven Seagal, the defense stick, often telescopic, is a weapon that requires the use of a lot of dexterity to operate. In reality, it is designed for guardians and guards.
Whichever defense weapon you choose to use, make sure you are aware of the possession and carrying requirements. If, for example, you intend to keep protective spray or a shocker in your backpack to cover any eventuality, remember that you will have to justify its use in the event of a police check.