How to declare possession of a gun in France

Hunters must create an online account and declare their weapons by the end of the year, with other owners to follow in 2024. We explain the system

A row of guns on a wall with labels
The aim is to make a digital gun rack with all arms traceable and registered
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A new weapons information system was established in 2022 with a view to making it easier to trace legal guns. We explore how this system works, which weapons must be declared, and how to declare them.

Very few people are allowed to own firearms in France. Permitted groups include:

  • Serving police officers, including those belonging to the police municipal, police de l’environnement, Vigipirate and the gendarmerie

  • Judges, although very few do carry a weapon

  • Certain security guards, including some bodyguards

  • Hunters

  • People who are legally allowed to carry arms due to very serious and precise threats to their personal safety, and have decided not to employ the services of a bodyguard.

Hunters are permitted to obtain, transport, and use a gun, but only while hunting.

When they buy the weapon, they must declare it to their local prefecture, which will carry out risk assessment and police and background checks to determine whether they have been involved in any violent crimes or alcohol-related issues in the past 10 years.

Semi-automatic firearms can only be bought if a person has a licence and they must have spent at least six months as part of a shooting club.

All private individuals who buy a gun (as opposed to people who use them for work, such as police officers) must also declare the weapon in the new system.

Read more: New registration system for France’s five million gun owners

What is the declaration system?

Le système d'information sur les armes (SIA) requires all weapons held by individuals to be declared to authorities.

It replaced the previous system, le fichier Agrippa (Agrippa file), which had become obsolete.

The SIA is intended to list all weapons in private circulation in France. It is now the main ‘interface’ between private gun owners and the state.

How do you declare a gun to the SIA?

All private gun owners must create a personal SIA account on the dedicated online portal.

The system is still being rolled out, but when this is complete, everyone who has a firearm will be required to have an account and declare all of their weapons (those that must be legally declared).

The aim is that the system will work like a digital ‘gun rack’, on which every weapon is registered and traceable to an owner.

Who must register?

At present, only adults with a hunting licence, and holders of weapons that were either inherited or found and do not have a licence (hunting licence or shooting licence, etc.) can create an account.

The criteria will also extend to:

  • Private individuals of legal age who own one or more firearms covered by the regulations

  • Holders of expired hunting licences

  • People without a hunting licence, collector's card or sports licence from a shooting, ball-trap or ski (biathlon) federation. This includes people who hold a firearm as part of their licence issued by the French Ski Federation and former members of the French Shooting, Ball-Trap and Ski Federations

  • Sport shooters (anyone with a licence from the French Shooting Federation)

  • Ball-trap shooters (anyone with a licence from the Fédération Française de Ball-trap)

  • Holders of firearms without a licence or permit

  • Weapons collectors (e.g. for historical reasons)

Weapons held for professional reasons are subject to a different process.

Which weapons must be declared?

  • All weapons for hunting and/or sport shooting (except single-shot weapons acquired before December 1, 2011, for which declaration remains optional)

  • Non-neutralised hunting or sporting firearms with a power of more than 20 joules

  • Category B weapons (pistols, revolvers, rifles and shotguns ...) subject to authorisation

  • Category C weapons (rifles with a calibre of 22 LR, etc.) subject to declaration

If you have any doubts about a particular weapon, you can consult the référentiel général des armes (RGA) guide, which lists all weapon models covered by the law.

How do I create an SIA account?

You can create an account on the website (, and follow the process. This includes providing all the necessary documents. You must have an email address to create an account.

Required supporting documents (to be scanned and uploaded) include:

  • Proof of identity (e.g. valid national identity card, passport or residence permit)

  • Proof of address less than three months old (electricity bill, gas bill, landline telephone bill, Internet box bill, etc)

  • Hunting licence or sports licence (FFT, FFBT, FFS).

Once your account has been created, you will be given an ID number. You will need the number to log in to your account. You will also need to set and confirm a password.

You will receive an SIA number when the registration is complete, which will remain the same throughout your life as a firearms owner.

If you need help, your gun seller will be able to help, as will hunting federations and shooting clubs.

Is there a deadline to declare firearms?

Hunters must create their account and declare their weapons before January 1, 2024.

Declaration for others - including ball-trap shooters and biathletes - is currently expected to be open by February 2024.

Private owners who are minors or collectors will not be eligible until 2025.

France has a blacklist of around 20,000 people who are banned from owning a gun, and imposes a penalty of €75,000 and five years in prison on those who break this ban.

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