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Recreational shooting

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Recreational shooting can refer to several activities including hunting, participating in shooting competitions, or using firearms as a hobby.

Oceania[edit]

Europe[edit]

The laws governing firearms and other weapons in Europe may be more complicated depending on which European nation you're traveling to. For travelers to member nations of the European Union they may be subject not only to the national laws of their destination, but also local laws and the regulations of the European Union.

France[edit]

Firearm regulation is regulated by law in France. All firearms have to be licensed and must have a unique identifier. Since the European Union creation, a European Firearm License has been created, allowing regulated and declared firearms to be transported cross-borders. An article about Firearms regulations from the Chateau de Janvry can be found here: How to Travel to France with Firearms.

Germany[edit]

In general Germany is a very restrictive country when it comes to firearms, however since the Weapons Act (Waffengesetz) was enacted on April 1, 2003 the regulations affecting hunters and recreational shooters have been significantly relaxed.

German law raised the minimum age for the purchase and possession of weapons from 16 to 18 for hunters, and 18 to 21 for marksmen.


North America[edit]

Canada[edit]

Hunting and fishing are big business in Canada and they attract many tourists, especially from the US and Japan. Typically the companies that provide services to hunters can also help customers comply with Canadian laws. You need a hunting or fishing license and may also need a gun license.

Canadian weapons laws are considerably tighter than the US, and there is less variation between provinces than between US states.

  • The Canadian Firearms Center [1] administers the gun regulations.
  • Canada Customs have a page on import regulations [2].

A number of weapons are classed as prohibited. Getting a permit for these is generally impossible. Prohibited firearms include short-barreled guns, fully-automatic weapons, rifles with collapsible stocks, and most 25 or 32 caliber pistols. Various other things are also prohibited — mags with over 5 rounds for a long gun or 10 for a pistol, silencers, replicas such as Airsoft guns, switchblade knives, teargas or pepper spray, ...

There are also restricted weapons — any pistol that is not prohibited, M16 and AR-15, various others. Permits for these may be possible, but there is considerable bureaucracy to be dealt with.

The only weapon that would be relatively easy to import, or to rent, is one that is neither restricted nor prohibited, such as the typical hunter's rifle or shotgun. Even for that, there would be paperwork.

United States of America[edit]

Shooting sports such as hunting and competitive shooting are widely practiced. Rifle ranges often offer shooter safety and other classes for beginners.

Anyone who wishes to hunt must first purchase a hunting license valid for the state they will hunt in. Licenses are available at many rural stores or by mail/internet directly from the state. They are usually valid for a set period of time, or a set number of kills.

Foreigners on non-immigrant visas who wish to import guns for hunting or competitive shooting must file Form 6 NIA [3] with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives [4], as well as have a valid hunting license. Approval generally takes 6-8 weeks, so plan ahead.

It is only legal in the US for US citizens and legal permanent residents (green card holders) to purchase or own firearms without any special permit. Foreigner, who are illegally or unlawfully in the United States, are specifically prohibited from possessing any firearm or ammunition. Foreigners lawfully admitted to the United States under a non-immigrant visa may possess firearm if they are admitted to the United States for lawful hunting or sporting purposes or are in possession of a hunting license or permit lawfully issued in the United States. Another option is to borrow or rent guns from the shooting range of your choice to shoot on premises — call ahead to see if this is an option.

Individual US States have a significant say over most of the regulations of firearms within their state. Travelers will want to check with individual states to make sure other restrictions will not apply to them. The pro-gun lobbyist organization, the National Rifle Association (Commonly referred to as the NRA) [5] provides an excellent service that explains most relevant state-by-state laws.

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