Shooting in sporting competition or as a leisure activity involves handling a weapon, with all the necessary precautions. This is why possession of a licence may be compulsory in certain cases. Here is a presentation of the steps to be taken to obtain one and the advantages it provides.
The issuance of a shooting licence is subject to a number of steps. But it opens many doors for you.
• With a shooting licence, you can practice shooting in shooting facilities. When you join a shooting club, the licence entitles you to all the activities on offer. Clubs provide you with certain types of weapons. You have access to the ranges for target shooting. You will receive training in the essential safety rules and you can count on the advice of a coach to improve your technique.
• If you have your own weapon, when you travel with it between your home and your place of practice, the licence serves as proof of transport. The licence allows you to take out shooting insurance.
In order to be issued with a shooting licence, you must be a member of a shooting club. From one club to another, the list of disciplines and services offered may vary. The differences are in the equipment provided.
• To join a club, you will need a medical certificate. Find out which shooting disciplines you can practise and what calibre weapons are allowed.
• Even if a club provides you with weapons, it is also possible to practice on its premises with your own weapon. To do so, you must have a firearms licence, which will be granted to you if you are a member of a shooting sports club. An authorisation to possess a weapon allows you to use it exclusively for sporting purposes. It is not the same as carrying a weapon. This authorisation will only be issued if you have a clean criminal record.
• A sport shooting weapon can be bought in a gun shop, on presentation of a weapon possession permit.
• A shooting club will issue you with a shooting log. You will have to record the date of three compulsory controlled shooting sessions. When these three sessions are completed, if the club president considers you fit to practice shooting sports, he will give you a form that you must send to the French federation. If the favourable opinion is confirmed, a letter to this effect will be sent to you. All that remains is for you to send your file to the police station or gendarmerie closest to your home to declare yourself a weapon holder as a member of a shooting club. The time taken to issue a licence varies from one department to another.
Obtaining a licence requires membership of a club. Membership of a sports club is not free. The cost of membership may differ from club to club. When you are given the price of a year's membership, it usually includes the club membership and the price of the shooting licence.
A shooting licence is valid for one year. A little bit more if you consider that a licence, according to the dedicated dates, is valid from 1 September of one calendar year to 30 September of the following year. After this period, if you wish to continue practising shooting sports, the membership must be renewed.
The list of weapons that can be purchased when you have a shooting licence is regulated by the Ministry of Justice. These are rifles or pistols whose overall length, power and calibre are regulated. There are two types of weapons: live powder weapons (rifles or pistols) and black powder weapons (rifles or carbines, pistols, revolvers).