Category D weapons

There are many restrictions on the possession and use of weapons. Depending on the danger they represent, their lethality and their power, weapons are classified into different categories. Category D is where the least dangerous weapons are classified. These include daggers, tear gas canisters and electric fists. This category also includes compressed air weapons of less than 20 joules. Their possession, transport and use are subject to a specific framework. Here is what you need to know.

main avec un pistolet


Category D weapons are sold freely. On condition that you are over 18 years old.

A weapon can be purchased on behalf of a minor, but only a person with parental authority can do so. And here again, the purchase of a category D weapon must be justified. The minor who uses it must hold a sports shooting licence. And the weapon in question may only be a device that fires projectiles in a non-pyrotechnical manner (paintball guns, air rifles).

Carrying and transporting category D weapons

Even if it is a category D weapon, it cannot be transported without good reason.

If a weapon is found on your person or in your vehicle during a control, you must be able to justify its presence. If you practice shooting sports and carry your weapon between your home and your shooting club, your shooting licence will serve as proof. In other cases, the legitimacy of carrying a category D weapon will be assessed according to the location, circumstances and context. Carrying a defensive spray can if your work requires you to return home alone late at night may fall within this framework, but it must be borne in mind that the justification criteria must be precise and clear. The assessment is made on a case-by-case basis.

Any breach of the law on the transport of category D weapons exposes you to sanctions. These can range from a fine of 750 euros to a fine of 15,000 euros and a prison sentence of one year for a single person.

Examples of category D weapons

Some of these have already been mentioned. Some sport shooting weapons fall into this category. These include pellet rifles with compressed air or CO2. In terms of power, in addition to not using pyrotechnic firing, they propel projectiles with a maximum power of 20 joules. Never more. In the case of defensive weapons, we can mention defensive bombs or truncheons. They can be carried and used in the context of private security. Among the collection weapons, only those that do not fire black powder are tolerated.

The difference with category C weapons

Category C weapons are more dangerous.

They include small-calibre firearms or weapons that fire projectiles with a power of more than 20 joules, such as the flash ball or certain models of pellet rifle. Their possession and use are subject to the possession of a specific shooting licence, or a valid hunting permit. To obtain them, a medical certificate and certain criteria must be met.