Special provisions for ownership 


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Member states will be able to give Category A authorisations to individuals for the protection of the security of critical infrastructure, commercial shipping, high-value convoys and sensitive premises, as well as for national defence, educational, cultural, research and historical purposes

Museums and collectors: member states will be able to give Category A authorisations to recognised museums and in exceptional and duly reasoned cases to collectors, subject to strict security measures. The collection of ammunition is permitted.

Target shooters: member states will be able to give Category A authorisations to target shooters provided the individual is actively practising for or participating in shooting competitions. Vicky Ford (ECR, UK) explained that “the authorisation covers those entering the sport as well as those already competing. The current freedom of choice of equipment used by competitors in their shooting disciplines is not restricted. To facilitate continued participation in international competitions, the rules governing the European Firearms Pass will be updated to cover firearms, including Category A firearms, held by such target shooters”.

Reservists:  armed forces, the police and the public authorities are outside the scope of the directive. The provisions for authorisation for national defence also enables member states to issue reservists with firearms.


Switzerland: Language is introduced to cover the Swiss system based on general conscription which enables the transfer of military firearms to persons leaving the army. 

Film industry: many film productions in Europe use firearms including deactivated firearms, purpose-built blank firing firearms as well as live firearms, usually firing blanks, all depending on the nature of the production. “The Commission’s initial proposals would have jeopardised this but the Parliament text has re-instated the ability for special authorisations for the film industry under strict controls”, said Ms Ford.

Re-enactors: the European Firearms Pass enables legitimate owners to move firearms across borders. This has been updated to assist historical re-enactors.

Private modifications

Hand-loading and reloading of ammunition will remain permitted. Modifications of firearms for private use are also still permitted by private owners and not restricted only to dealers or brokers.