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Firearms regulations in France

This is a discussion on Firearms regulations in France within the CCW forums, part of the Gunner Forum category; Terry_P recently asked me: “Just out of curiosity [in France] can you use a firearm for personal protection? For example is someone breaks into your ...


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Old 11-28-2016, 12:55 AM   #1
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Firearms regulations in France

Terry_P recently asked me:

“Just out of curiosity [in France] can you use a firearm for personal protection? For example is someone breaks into your home and threatens you with a knife can you access your firearm and shoot them? Can you own handguns? What are your storage requirements? How hard is it to get ammo? Just curious as to the laws over there.”

Concerning France, and generally speaking:

(a) Who can own a firearm in France?*

No one can own a firearm in France with the exception of:
  • Authorized civil servants such as: military, Police….
  • People making a movie
  • Museums
  • Industrialist involved in firearms business
  • Companies involved in security business (for example those who carry huge amount of money for banks)
  • Companies who are considered as threatened (example : a jeweler)
  • Anyone who own a shooting license or a hunting license (thanks god !!!)

(b) Who can carry a firearm in France?

No one can carry a firearm with the exemption of
  • Military and police. But only on duty. For example a policeman must leave his gun to the police station at the end of his duty. He come to his home unarmed. I think since the recent Paris and Nice terrorist attack, that last point is to be changed…
  • People who can prove that his live in threaten. For example a person who is threatened by criminals… In practice this rarely happened. The French administration will send you a policeman to protect you.

(c) I own a French shooting license and an Administrative Authorization. What kind of firearm can I own?

Banned:
Full automatic or firearms fed with belted ammunitions

Semi automatic firearms:
Anything with a caliber equal or less than cal. 50 and a magazine less than 30 round.
But no more than 12 gun per authorized person. For example, you can own a revolver or a handgun. You may own a submachine gun for example an UZI, but no auto sear. Anything up to an M82 Barrett.

Manually operated firearm:
No limits in number. You may own one million of them if you are rich enough to do so. But there are some limitation in caliber. For example, 50 BMG, 223 remingon, 9mm luger, 357 magnum…. Are banned from that category

(c) “Can you use a firearm for your personal protection?”

In the streets:
Since almost no French civilians can carry legally a gun, If someone wants to kill you in the street…. …You are dead!... …or almost.

Here is a most significant story about what can happened here in France:
I will try to translate an article in a one of the most famous France’s newspaper:
“That case did happened in Nogent sur Marne (French town near Paris) on year 2006. A Shop keeper was just being assaulted just in front of his house. The two crooks threatened his wife with a revolver. The shop keeper did manage to grab the revolver. Then he shoot and killed one of the crook.
Since the guy shoot one of the crook in the back, it took not less than 3 years before the case was recognized as a self defense case (which mean that the assaulted man can be considered as laundered / free)….

At home:
If you legally own a gun, you cannot use it for self-defense purposes with the exception of:
Your life or the life of someone else is threatened OR the crooks who are assaulting you are armed (gun, knifes…) AND are willing to use it against you (As a gentlemen, you should even wait for them to shoot at you just before considering any retaliation…)

Fortunately this is just theory. In real life, if someone come into your house by night, justice will generally launder/free you if you kill someone during that assault. But it will take time. For justice, what is at state is: did you take that opportunity to kill someone for your personal pleasure? Were you in panic? Couldn’t you run away? Were you certain these people wanted to hurt you? You did not do a warning shoot!....

Sounds strange, isn’t it?...

(e) Storage requirement

Generally speaking your firearms must be kept in a safe at home.
If you move from one home to another and you own firearm, you must inform the authorities.

(f) Transportation of a firearm

Target shooting
You may carry your rifle from your home directly to the shooting range you belong or the shooting range were you intend to compete. The rifle must be secured (gun locks)

Hunting
I do not know.

Repair
You may use postal services to carry your firearm to you firearm dealer or you may bring it yourself.

(g) How hard is it to get ammunition?

Manually operated rifle
You just have to show your hunting / shooting license. You may buy as much ammunition as you want. No limitations.

Semi automatic rifle / handgun
You just have to show authorization. 1000 ammunitions /case per authorized gun per year. If you need more, you may ask for an extension of 500 ammunition more.
If you are reloading, you may buy as many bullet, powder, primer as needed.

To conclude, Ammunition is not a real problem here.
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Old 11-28-2016, 05:08 AM   #2
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Thank you for giving us insight into the system in France. In the US much has been left to the individual states and we have some like New Jersey where I don't see much difference between their laws and those of France.

Other states are much different with few restrictions. Full automatic is regulated at the federal level and it takes time and money to own that type of weapon. Others are left to the states to decide. Concealed Carry is pretty prevalent with different rules for each state. Many states now allow permitless carry which means anyone that can legally own a firearm can carry concealed and use for self defense. In NH we will likely have permitless carry (also called constitutional carry) in 2017 as we recently voted in those favorable to it. I have carry licenses from NH and Utah and can legally carry concealed in 37 of the 50 state.

I can go into a gun shop in my state and purchase any firearm (other than full auto) and after a quick background check leave with the firearm and as much ammo as I can carry if I can afford it.

There are 33 states that have what is called "Stand Your Ground" which means you can defend yourself with a firearm you legally are carrying anywhere you have a right to be. If you are walking down the street and someone accosts you can defend yourself and the criminal can't sue you civilly and as long as your life was in danger you won't (shouldn't) be prosecuted criminally.

Others can elaborate beyond what I have written as to what I forgot.
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Old 11-28-2016, 07:26 AM   #3
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"Stand Your Ground"+"permitless carry" : I love it. It sounds so American!

Concerning full auto: I thought a US citizen cannot purchase a machine gun build after 1986. Am I wrong?
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Old 11-28-2016, 08:01 AM   #4
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Limit of 1000 rounds per gun, with a possible "extension" of 500? Per YEAR ???........Ouch!

That would be tight for most Americans. I am in the habit of shooting 400-500 rounds on each trip to the shooting range, usually taking two guns with me. I normally only go once per month in nice weather, so I could manage on the French limit. Most Americans could not. Many go weekly, year round, shooting 1000 or more rounds each time.

As is, due to worries over our soon to be former President's actions, I have enough .22 ammunition stored to do nine years of my usual shooting. I am luckily in one of our more shooter friendly States.
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Old 11-28-2016, 08:29 AM   #5
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Thanks for the post and information.
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Old 11-28-2016, 12:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogun View Post
"Stand Your Ground"+"permitless carry" : I love it. It sounds so American!

Concerning full auto: I thought a US citizen cannot purchase a machine gun build after 1986. Am I wrong?
Although I am no expert I believe you are correct on the full auto's in the USA.
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Old 11-29-2016, 11:47 AM   #7
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If you do the paper work and buy a stamp , you can get a auto sear and live in a state Like TX or Tn you can make a full auto gun with no problem . Glock is one of the easiest , cheapest and only take 3 mins to make one . There is 100 different companies making auto sears for Glocks

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F05o5o0nfmY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHXw9Telel0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ub4OswUhLwo

Last edited by tx gun runner; 11-29-2016 at 03:43 PM.
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Old 12-01-2016, 01:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tx gun runner View Post
If you do the paper work and buy a stamp , you can get a auto sear and live in a state Like TX or Tn you can make a full auto gun with no problem . Glock is one of the easiest , cheapest and only take 3 mins to make one . There is 100 different companies making auto sears for Glocks

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F05o5o0nfmY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHXw9Telel0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ub4OswUhLwo
Hi tx gun runner!

I have read some articles here and there on the web (for example https://thearmsguide.com/2349/full-auto-is-legal/) but it seems to buy a full auto firearm, two options:

- Buy a pre 1986 full auto
- Become a firearm manufacturer.

Don't you think those glock auto sears can be bought freely, but you are not allowed to put it on your glock?
I do not understand.

Buldo.
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Old 12-01-2016, 03:04 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogun View Post
Don't you think those glock auto sears can be bought freely, but you are not allowed to put it on your glock?
I do not understand.

Buldo.
There is auto sears for AR15 , AK47 , ect , ect . I don't like machine gun personally , but they are fun to shoot . So I'm 100% up on them . Now don't take this to the bank , but most the auto sears are drop in's . The one in video I post needs a mod to the gun frame must be cut with a knife to make it work . So it not a drop in and you can buy over the counter without a stamp and own it till you cut the frame then you need the stamp I believe . Bump fire is cheaper and no stamp is needed .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VB1QlHtOWCQ
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Old 12-01-2016, 06:16 AM   #10
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Ok Tx gun runner.
I think I understand.

I believe you: it must be really funny to shoot a full auto, from time to time !
Bump fire seems to be a legal and cheap alternative. For fun purposes it sounds like a good idea.
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Old 12-01-2016, 06:44 AM   #11
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Bump fire is fun but nothing like the real deal. Two summers ago I visited a friend in Montana was be shot a real M16A1, an M2 Carbine and a STEN. Man you can sure go through the ammo fast.
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Old 12-01-2016, 07:17 AM   #12
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303Lithgow,
Sure. You may see it on the video, bump fire is no match for the real thing. But for those who just want fun: it can be a good beginning. Of course, just right before spending more money on the right stuff….

By the way I have heard that on the M2, there have been some common misfire when shooting more that 2 to 3 magazines in a raw. Is that true?
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Old 12-01-2016, 07:55 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogun View Post
By the way I have heard that on the M2, there have been some common misfire when shooting more that 2 to 3 magazines in a raw. Is that true?
I seen and shot a lot M2 in the service in the 60's and never ever seen 1 misfire or jam . If you want a 100% reliable machine gun get one that fires from OPEN BOLT like the early Thompson Sub or Mac 10 they will run forever and will fire everything with NO problems .

Below is my fake Tommie gun I made from a kit and that is a fake drum which is made using stock factory Ruger 10 rd mag .
Attached Images
File Type: jpg a0a09a19-56b1-44c7-b163-bf7da25f15da - Copy.jpg (273.3 KB, 4 views)

Last edited by tx gun runner; 12-01-2016 at 08:01 AM.
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Old 12-01-2016, 03:26 PM   #14
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I once fired a full auto Thompson. It was a hoot. I have also fired a full auto M16 and a M60. I fired the M60 in the pouring rain, and the steam was boiling off the barrel. Full auto is great fun, but expensive to own and shoot.
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Old 12-02-2016, 09:14 AM   #15
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Wahouu.. nice!
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