Air guns: where can I practice shooting?

Compressed air pistols and rifles specified that the law on weapons classified this type of weapon into the categories of either over-the-counter weapons or those subject to authorization Airsoft, depending on the power of the projectile and the dimensions of the barrel and the total length of the weapon.

This is why “short” compressed air or gas cartridge weapons, whose projectile kinetic energy is greater than 7.5 joules, are subject to a possession authorization.
As a reminder, “short weapon” means any weapon whose barrel length does not measure more than 30 cm and whose total length does not exceed 60 cm. These are what are commonly called “pellet guns”.

Other compressed air weapons are therefore on sale over the counter, namely air rifles not meeting the definition of “short weapons”, regardless of the power of their projectiles, and short weapons whose kinetic energy of the projectile does not exceed 7.5 Joules.

Home possession of over-the-counter weapons does not require any formality, while a possession authorization is mandatory for those whose sale is regulated.

Sport shooting: an exception to the 7.5 joules rule

The law on weapons provides facilities for sports shooting. Thus it makes an exception to the general rule of 7.5 joules for certain types of pistols, propelling their projectile by compressed air or gas, specially designed for sports shooting.

The royal decree of March 30, 1995, which is still in force, places in the category of weapons on sale over the counter short weapons designed for sports shooting, combining all of the following characteristics:

* the aiming length of the weapon is greater than 30cm
* the total weight of the weapon is greater than 1 Kg
* the weapon is equipped with a sighting device comprising at least one rear sight adjustable in windage and height
* the caliber of the weapon is 4.5mm (.177)
* the magazine or magazine of the weapon has a capacity of five rounds at most.

Where to buy an airgun?

In principle the sale of air or compressed gas weapons is reserved for gunsmiths, but the owner of a weapon can dispose of it as part of the management of his assets while respecting the ad hoc legislation.

Regarding the sale of air or compressed gas weapons deemed to be over-the-counter, there are nevertheless several rules to observe:

The weapon cannot be sold to minors, therefore the sale or transfer can only take place on presentation of the identity card or passport of the purchaser.
It cannot be sold in public markets or other places without a permanent establishment.
It is prohibited to sell them remotely, whether via the internet or by postal order.

Compressed air or gas weapons classified in the category of weapons subject to authorization follow the sales, acquisition and possession procedures specific to this category.

Where can I shoot an air or gas weapon?

Shooting with air or compressed gas weapons over the counter is not affected by the royal decree of July 13, 2000 concerning shooting ranges for firearms. Therefore, it is possible to shoot in a private area, as long as security and public order are respected.

Shooting with air or compressed gas weapons classified in the category of weapons subject to authorization may only be practiced under the conditions determined by the sports shooter’s license or the hunting permit.

Air or compressed gas shooting is also practiced in appropriate shooting ranges. These installations must meet the safety and environmental protection criteria defined by law.

Finally, remember that carrying an over-the-counter weapon in public is always subject to a legitimate reason. During transport, these weapons cannot be loaded and cannot be accessed immediately.