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Sander Marechal




Location: The Netherlands
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PostPosted: Wed 19 May, 2010 8:21 am    Post subject: French law on swords         Reply with quote

Is there anyone here that knows the French law with regards to swords? My girlfriend's parents moved to France a few years ago. They live on an old farm and they have lots of room. So, my girlfriend and I would like to bring our weapons and armour for training (and maybe wearing it to a medieval faire).

Transport through The Netherlands and Belgium is no problem. Just make sure the words are out-of-reach. The swords will be tied to the scabbards using the belts and transported inside a closed bag.

But what about French law? I assume possession is legal because shops like the one on Mt. Saint Michel sell plenty of reproduction swords over the counter. But I would like to know what is legal and what not.

Thanks in advance!
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Eric Allen




Location: Texas
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PostPosted: Wed 19 May, 2010 9:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is probably not the best place to get a good answer to that question, actually.

Really, your best bet would be to contact the local law enforcement agency in wherever you're going and ask them--they'd be much more familiar with the actual rules and regulations and know what answer to give.
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Vincent Le Chevalier




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PostPosted: Wed 19 May, 2010 10:41 am    Post subject: Re: French law on swords         Reply with quote

Frankly as a French I'm not too sure myself Happy

Swords are in 6th category in the French law, together with almost everything that is not a firearm. Owning such weapons is legal, but wearing or transporting them is prohibited without a legitimate reason. In the end it all boils down to what the law officer considers legitimate, and this varies according to where you are, doing what, with what attitude... Really subjective.

Carrying a weapon to go to a martial art lesson, for example, is legitimate. The weapon should not be worn in a way that would allow you to use it easily, sort of out of reach, as you say.

On private grounds you should not have any problem except if you hurt someone. I'm unclear on the legal ramifications if someone gets seriously wounded.

If there is a medieval faire going on, it should be acknowledged as a legitimate reason. In that case the police can be more tolerant on the way you carry your weapons within the faire (costume etc.).

Transportation between two places, where family members live... I never had a problem but I've never been controlled either. As I said it depends on the appreciation of the police officer so it is somewhat hard to predict fully.

And of course bear in mind that I'm not a lawyer...If you want to be completely sure follow Eric's advice.

Regards,

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Vincent
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Sander Marechal




Location: The Netherlands
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PostPosted: Wed 19 May, 2010 12:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks. My French is horrible, so I'll ask my mother in law to see if she can find anything out about this.
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C Bosh




Location: France
Joined: 10 Aug 2009

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PostPosted: Wed 19 May, 2010 1:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The law is a little unclear on this subject, but much is placed on behavior, and in ,the right place/ time sword transport to a event and wearing at a event with the organisers OK,- but behaving like a madman ( not suggesting you are )and like every were else , you get arrested. As long as you have a reason (you do ) all should be well,. The same for at the event.
Not much help, but I have never had a problem, its down to behavior and do you behave like a risk.
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Gottfried P. Doerler




Location: Tyrol, Austria
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PostPosted: Wed 19 May, 2010 3:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sander Marechal wrote:
My French is horrible


o-o this could lead to problems. there`s this rumour, frenchman sometimes refuse to speak english, even if they could, and rather pretend to not understand you.... Wink
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Tom King




Location: florida
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PostPosted: Wed 19 May, 2010 7:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is most likely useless, but germany issues sword permits that are pretty much concealed weapons permits for pointy things. This is rumor, but it seems most European countries will accept them. Although its the french, so who knows Big Grin

Saint George!!!
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C Bosh




Location: France
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PostPosted: Wed 19 May, 2010 11:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Most French do not expect you to speak French if you are visiting, but a" please and thank you "in anyones native language is never a miss. I have English friends who visit and they have more problems with the English customs than the French (they have firearms) and a simple letter from the club/seems to suffice here.There is never a English speaker to far away in most parts of France and most peoples reluctance to talk can be embarrassment about getting it wrong, mine is.
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Sander Marechal




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PostPosted: Thu 20 May, 2010 2:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

C Bosh wrote:
a simple letter from the club/seems to suffice here.


Yes, I've read that about firearms in French. We're not planning to go to a club in France, but now that you mentioned it, it may actually be a good idea to visit some WMA group in France. I think it would be great to train alongside other people for a change. Language is still going to be a problem though...
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Jean Le-Palud




Location: France
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PostPosted: Thu 20 May, 2010 4:45 am    Post subject: Re: French law on swords         Reply with quote

Vincent Le Chevalier wrote:
Frankly as a French I'm not too sure myself Happy

Swords are in 6th category in the French law, together with almost everything that is not a firearm. Owning such weapons is legal, but wearing or transporting them is prohibited without a legitimate reason. In the end it all boils down to what the law officer considers legitimate, and this varies according to where you are, doing what, with what attitude... Really subjective.

Carrying a weapon to go to a martial art lesson, for example, is legitimate. The weapon should not be worn in a way that would allow you to use it easily, sort of out of reach, as you say.



Vincent is perfectly right.
What the french law tells: (Extracts of "Décret N° 95-589 issued on may 6th 1995")

2° Sont interdits.....
-
-le transport sans motif legitime des armes et munitions de 1ere et 4eme catégorie, des armes de 6eme catégorie ....

3° Les armes visées au 2° ci dessus sont transportées de manière à ne pas être immédiatement utilisables....

Which means:
2° Are prohibited....
-
-the transportation without a legitimate reason of weapons and ammunition of first and fourth category, of weapons of the sixth category....

3° Weapons listed in 2° above are transported in such a way that they cannot be used immediately.....

Membership of a sport federation is namely a legitimate reason for weapons transportation, but as Vincent said what other legitimate reasons can be is the responsibility of a police officer.



Last edited by Jean Le-Palud on Thu 20 May, 2010 4:57 am; edited 1 time in total
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Jean Le-Palud




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PostPosted: Thu 20 May, 2010 4:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gottfried P. Doerler wrote:
Sander Marechal wrote:
My French is horrible


o-o this could lead to problems. there`s this rumour, frenchman sometimes refuse to speak english, even if they could, and rather pretend to not understand you.... Wink


??????
The truth is that very few people in France are able to speak english.
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Sander Marechal




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PostPosted: Thu 20 May, 2010 5:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Jean.

Quote:
3° Weapons listed in 2° above are transported in such a way that they cannot be used immediately.....


I'm a little confused about this. Is this clause separate from the 2nd clause or joined with it? E.g:

Separate: Transportation of cat1-4+6 is forbidden unless you have a legitimate reason *or* they are transported in such a way that they cannot be used.

Joined: Transportation of cat1-4+6 is forbidden unless you have a legitimate reason *and* they are transported in such a way that they cannot be used.

I can't figure out which of these two it is. Do you know? Or do you perhaps have a link to the original text that I can show to my inlaws?
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Vincent Le Chevalier




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PostPosted: Thu 20 May, 2010 6:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sander Marechal wrote:
Joined: Transportation of cat1-4+6 is forbidden unless you have a legitimate reason *and* they are transported in such a way that they cannot be used.

This one is the right one I believe. I'm fairly sure walking with a katana at your belt ready to draw is forbidden even if you're going to a lesson of kenjutsu Happy

If you want the whole text of the law it can be read here:
http://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/affichTexte.do?...e=20100520
Not a very fun read Worried

Regards,

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Vincent
Ensis Sub Caelo
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Sander Marechal




Location: The Netherlands
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PostPosted: Thu 20 May, 2010 7:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Vincent Le Chevalier wrote:
Sander Marechal wrote:
Joined: Transportation of cat1-4+6 is forbidden unless you have a legitimate reason *and* they are transported in such a way that they cannot be used.

This one is the right one I believe. I'm fairly sure walking with a katana at your belt ready to draw is forbidden even if you're going to a lesson of kenjutsu Happy


True Happy But the flip side is that can own a gas mask, breater or smoke filter, but you can't use it (e.g. when your house burns down and is filled with smoke). That's a cat3 "weapon".

Thanks for the link to the full text. Unfortunately it's too long to be fully translated by Google Translate, but I'll chop it up into pieces and translate them individually.
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Gottfried P. Doerler




Location: Tyrol, Austria
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PostPosted: Thu 20 May, 2010 8:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Le-Palud wrote:

??????
The truth is that very few people in France are able to speak english.


ok, actually this was more kind of joke from me,
how boring would the world be without stereotypes Big Grin
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Paul Hansen




Location: The Netherlands
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PostPosted: Thu 20 May, 2010 9:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sander Marechal wrote:
Thanks for the link to the full text. Unfortunately it's too long to be fully translated by Google Translate, but I'll chop it up into pieces and translate them individually.


Personally I'd watch out with using Google-translations as legal advise. Wink

I've never travelled with sharp swords in France, but I guess that if you keep it well packed and out of sight in the back of your car and don't wave them around in the front yard where the neighbours might get upset, then I think nobody could object to it.

"Transportation without a legitimate reason" seems like legally shady area anyway, but I guess that it's hard to object if you explain that you want to use the sword for training in private surroundings.

Like in The Netherlands, if a police officer stops you and doesn't want to believe you for some reason, there may be some problems. Unfortunately, a lot of them want to interpret the law in a way that suits them, and I guess that's their good right.

Hmm, lot of "I guess" sentences in this post, I guess... Wink Razz
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Sander Marechal




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PostPosted: Thu 20 May, 2010 11:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Paul Hansen wrote:

Personally I'd watch out with using Google-translations as legal advise. Wink


I will, but it's a good way to get the gist of the text. For the rest I have my in-laws.

Quote:
I've never travelled with sharp swords in France, but I guess that if you keep it well packed and out of sight in the back of your car and don't wave them around in the front yard where the neighbours might get upset, then I think nobody could object to it.


My plan exactly, although all our swords are blunts, not sharps.
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Stephane Rabier




Location: Brittany
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PostPosted: Thu 20 May, 2010 1:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sander Marechal wrote:

My plan exactly, although all our swords are blunts, not sharps.
blunt? So I think you'll have no problem, they will not be considered as weapons but just theatre accessories.

The main point with the French law on weapons is that it's 99% subjective and that nobody really understand it, including the lawyers Laughing Out Loud
For instance, there is a list of the restricted ammunition ("4th category" license needed to own them, even the empty cases) . That list includes the .44 S&W Russian cartridges BUT another list indicates that the S&W Russian revolvers are antiquities and can be owned freely and their cartridges too WTF?!

All I can say considering who is allowed to carry a "6th category" weapon: if you look "clean" , the stereotype of a honest taxpayer, you can travel as long as you want with a full size, sharp Zweihander in a plastic bag but it you have the "gangsta" look only a 3 inch long pocket knife can send you directly in front of a judge.


Last edited by Stephane Rabier on Thu 20 May, 2010 1:22 pm; edited 1 time in total
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T.F. McCraken




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PostPosted: Thu 20 May, 2010 1:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't know about France (Which means that, technically, this is off-topic) but, in my county in the States, there is NO law governing the wearing of, or, carrying of a sword. It's not until you draw it and menace someone with it that it becomes a problem.

HTH,
Murphy
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Sander Marechal




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PostPosted: Thu 20 May, 2010 1:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Stephane Rabier wrote:
Sander Marechal wrote:

My plan exactly, although all our swords are blunts, not sharps.
blunt? So I think you'll have no problem, they will not be considered as weapons but just theatre accessories.


Even better! Dutch law specifically states that for all blade weapons it doesn't matter whether they are blunt or sharp. I didn't see something similar in Belgium or French law.
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