The legislation

In order to protect citizens, the French State has introduced regulations based on the power of plumb rifles. The latter ranges from 7.5 joules to more than 50 joules. Only models less than 20 joules are available over the counter.

man shooting with a lead rifle

What does French legislation say about the pellet rifle ?

Currently, the pellet rifle is included in category D or C firearms.

This means that free sale for the over 18s is authorised up to a maximum power of 20 joules (instead of 10 joules before the 2013 decree). Models under 20 joules belong to category D. To buy one, you simply need to show your valid identity card.

Beyond this power, the pellet rifle will be classified as a category C weapon. To obtain it, you will need a :

• hunting licence or,

• a valid FFT shooting licence.

What documentation is required to purchase a pellet rifle ?  

Rifle type

Category

Calibre

Sale

Compressed air and CO2 rifle less than 20 joules

Our pellet guns less than 20 joules

D-2

Calibre 4.5 and 5.5 mm

Free + 18 years old

Compressed air and CO2 rifle more than 20 joules

Our pellet rifles 20 to 30 joules

C

4.5 (V° + 195 m/s) and 5.5 (V° + 145 m/s) mm

Submitted for declaration after purchase. Requirement to present an identity card and a shooting licence or hunting licence.

Recreational and competitive rifle (civil appearance)

Our 22 lr rifles

C

22 Lr, 22 Shorts and 22 Mag

Submitted for declaration after purchase. Requirement to present an identity card and a shooting licence or hunting licence.

To know more about decree n°2013-700

This decree, which entered into force on 6 September 2013, resulted in a change in the categorisation and legal regime of weapons and their ammunition. The ranking from eight types of weapons has been changed to a ranking with only four. Since then, weapons are no longer classified into categories from 1 to 8 but from A to D. It applies to:

• legal firearms holders (hunters, sports shooters, etc.),

• professionals involved in the manufacture, trade or import, export and transfer of materials, weapons, ammunition and their components,

• sports associations and 

• musées.

What does the legislation on pellet rifles say in other European countries ?

Belgian legislation classifies weapons into three categories: prohibited weapons, weapons subject to authorisation and weapons on sale over the counter. Plumb rifles designed for recreational purposes (air and CO2 rifles) are on sale over the counter for adults.

On the other hand, the right to use a hunting rifle or sporting rifle is not defined by federal law but by the different regions and communities. It is they who decide, by means of decrees and orders, who can hunt and who can practise sport shooting and under what conditions. Both types of shooter must acquire a hunting licence or a sports shooter's licence in order to obtain a weapon suitable for their activity.

Attention, the application of hunting decrees is only local. A person who wishes to hunt must be in possession of a hunting permit provided by the competent authorities of the place where the activity takes place. A Fleming who wants to hunt in Wallonia will have to be issued with a Walloon hunting permit in order to be able to shoot.

Circular on the application of arms legislation in Belgium

Spanish legislation stipulates that shotguns must be declared to the Town Hall and the Arms Department of the Guardia Civil (equivalent to the police). The purchaser must provide proof of identity and all information about the rifle they have just purchased.

Decree on the regulation of arms in Spain

List of pages in The legislation: