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Gun ownership in France -- still active

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Oleg Volk, Aug 22, 2007.

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  1. Oleg Volk

    Oleg Volk Moderator Emeritus

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  2. fletcher

    fletcher Member

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    Is there a French THR member here who can tell us what the laws/gun culture is like over there?
     
  3. Mikee Loxxer

    Mikee Loxxer Member

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    We do have at least one French member. The screen name is barman.
     
  4. Euclidean

    Euclidean Member

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    I'd like to know more about the reality of things in France myself. From what I understand even a single shot .22 caliber rifle would be completely illegal there. I bet that's wrong though.
     
  5. barman

    barman Member

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    Hi,

    I don't have much time to write a full long reply... But,

    We have way less freedom than you firearms-wise, but we look good compared to most European countries.

    The law ( which is completely stupid) classifies firearms in 8 categories: the first 4 concern what is regarded as "military" firearms and self defense firearms. Every smokeless powder handgun is in category 4 or 1st, and a licence delivered by the Prefecture is needed in order to own one.
    It's not hard at all, you just need to justify a good reason for you to own that weapon. For most people out there it's for a sporting purpose. So you get into a shooting club, you fill in a few papers and 6 months later you receive a letter allowing the purchase and detention of such a firearm.

    You can own up to 7 guns belonging in those first 4 categories.


    Then you have the 5th category which represent firearms designed for the Hunt. Shotguns, semi-auto hunting rifles (up to a capacity of 3 rounds), military rifles re-chambered in calibers used for hunting etc...

    These guns are free of detention if you have a hunting licence or if you belong to a shooting club. Once you buy the gun, you just bring it to the local police station for it to be registered, and no one can take it away from you anymore after that.
    Note that smoothbores don't need to be registered.

    6th category are blades of all sorts. Completely free of course.

    7th category are competition rifles like high precision .22 rifles.
    You need to belong to a shooting club and declare it to the police.

    8th category weapons are antique weapons and their reproductions. Black powder revolvers, muskets, rifles.
    These are completely free and anyone over 18 can buy them with their ammo.



    With all these stupid laws, France still has around 19 millions registered firearms.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2007
  6. alex_trebek

    alex_trebek Member

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    I didnt realize that French citizens can own those kinds of firearms.

    Thanks for the info barman.
     
  7. Sig245

    Sig245 Member

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    Good Post! I was not aware that the French could own any handguns or semi-auto rifles.
     
  8. geekWithA.45

    geekWithA.45 Moderator Emeritus

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    Detention?

    What's that? Storage of your arms by some entity other than you?
     
  9. Euclidean

    Euclidean Member

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    Well I learned something new today.
     
  10. Novus Collectus

    Novus Collectus Member

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    Thanks for all that info, I had only an inkling before, but with almost no detail such as this.
    What are the laws on carry or transport of black powder revolvers or using one for defense in the home? Can tourists and foreign visitors legally buy and use BP revolvers?
    If I ever visit France it would be nice to know I wouldn't have to wait until I got back to go shooting.
     
  11. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    Probably more like the English words "retain" and "retention." Most abstract English words were originally French, but the French of 1066 and 2007 aren't the same, nor are the French roots of English and contemporary English.
     
  12. Oleg Volk

    Oleg Volk Moderator Emeritus

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    My friend emailed me info on French gun laws:
    and

     

    Attached Files:

  13. barman

    barman Member

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    That's precisely what I meant. "Ownership" of a firearm. Sorry for the confusion.

    Regarding transportation, every firearm must be kept away from its ammo in different containers.Tourists and foreign visitors can buy and use BP revolvers, as long as they provide ID and are over 18 years of age.

    Regarding the permits allowing you to carry your gun like in the US, we are not granted that right, and that's a crying shame. Exceptions exist, but very few people can get such a special licence.


    regarding the use of firearms for self defense, that is not encouraged, and many people ended up facing the courts because they shot an intruder. You may be safe if the intruder was armed as well.
     
  14. Novus Collectus

    Novus Collectus Member

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    Hmm, sounds just like Maryland. :(

    Do tourists have to be members of a gun club to purchase or own a BP revolver, or when they say totally free it is almost unregulated after purchase (except for transporting and public possesion of course as you already addressed).
    I think you answered already, I am just checking for further clarification.
     
  15. barman

    barman Member

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    I think the number has changed since 1995.

    Before that date we could even own full auto sub machine guns.
     
  16. barman

    barman Member

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    It is unregulated and you do not have to be part of a shooting club to purchase BP guns or black powder. However, the shop assistant usually photocopies your ID (that they keep for personal records, this data is not to be communicated to the police).
     
  17. geekWithA.45

    geekWithA.45 Moderator Emeritus

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    That reminds me of something someone said:

    "The French have been oiling their flower gardens since the (19)40's"

    :neener:
     
  18. Torghn

    Torghn Member

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    What are the self defends laws like? I think the worst gun law Britten ever enacted was when they made it illegal to defend your self with a gun in anyway. I believe that was in the 40s long before most other gun control laws.
     
  19. Novus Collectus

    Novus Collectus Member

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    I am not totally sure, but based on what I have read about a few home defense situations involving a shotgun in England's news news, this does not seem to be the case.
    What is the case though as I understand it is that they removed the claim of self defense as a reason to acquire a firearm ownership permit/license, but I think you are still allowed to use guns for defense if you had other reasons to own it.
    Maybe someone from England would know what the case is can post about this.
     
  20. Novus Collectus

    Novus Collectus Member

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    By the way, thanks again for the info barman.
     
  21. barman

    barman Member

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    You're very welcome.

    I love the US and I wish our laws would be improved (taking yours as an example).
     
  22. barman

    barman Member

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    If you ever vist France and you are in the Paris area, I invite you to come shooting with me. You can even sleep over. My wife is an American from Alaska and she cooks wonderfully. Just PM me if that ever happens.
     
  23. fletcher

    fletcher Member

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    Seeing as you have unrestricted access to silencers, our laws could stand to take a couple things from yours as well.
     
  24. tinygnat219

    tinygnat219 Member

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    barman,

    Thank you for enlightening us on the French gun culture and laws. It's appreciated on this side of the Atlantic. Just out of curiosity, how does the game of Cowboy Action Shooting fare over there?
     
  25. arthurcw

    arthurcw Member

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    Well I’ll be dipped! But the French are effete surrender monkeys! The Errornet tells me so!

    Ok. So consider me schooled.

    HIS IS BIGGER THAN MINE!!! I feel shame.

    Wait… All types??? Do you get to actually carry these? If so, you just stomped Texas in the back.

    I can’t take this, between Human Weapon’s Savate episode and this I’m… I’m… FREEDOM FRIES!!!!

    *pant pant* Ok… I can deal with this. I can… You practically won the Revolutionary War for us by keeping the Brits busy. I can deal. I can deal. French Resistance. Forgiven Legion.

    I have to go and watch some John Wayne.

    BTW: thanks for the schooling. It's nice to know the evil gun menace plagues other countries as well.
     
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