Civil arms include "firearms" and "non-firearms" as well as their ammunition whose acquisition and ownership is not part of the armed forces, police and public services. Civil arms are therefore different from military arms and ammunition. The general approach of the Arms Service of the Ministry of Justice is to consider civil arms as any arms that are or could be subject to ministerial authorization.
A firearm is defined as any barreled weapon that expels a shot, bullet or projectile by the action of a combustible propellant. Objects designed to do this or that could be converted into a firearm on account of their construction or their material are also covered by the law on arms and ammunition.
A non-firearm is defined as any device designed or adapted to allow the launching of a projectile by means of air or compressed gas, a mechanical force, an electrical device or a mechanism based on spring pressure.
Obligations and controls
Arms are classified in different categories, depending on their technical specifications.
The trading of arms and ammunition is subject to prior approval by the Ministry of Justice. A licensed arms dealer can only provide arms and ammunition to persons holding valid authorizations, except for those weapons that do not require authorization. An arms dealer must keep a registry in which they record all entries and exits of arms subject to authorization.
Prior to delivering licenses or authorizations for the export of firearms shipments, their parts, elements and ammunition, the Ministry of Justice verifies that the importing States have delivered the licenses and authorizations for the corresponding importation and that they contain the following minimum information: the place and date of delivery, date of expiration, country of exportation, country of importation, final recipient, name of the firearms, parts, elements and ammunition and their quantity, and, in the case of transit, the countries of transit.
Note: At the European level, individual Member States can deliver licenses to arms dealers for a maximum period of three years. On the grounds of such licenses, transfers of arms between arms dealers from one Member State to another can be conducted without prior consent. These arms transfers must however be notified to the Arms Service at least eight working days prior to the transfer date.
In all other cases, the arms dealer license is valid for five years, renewable, and does not waive the requirement to obtain a transfer permit in order to legally transfer firearms to other Member States.
The import of an arm from a third country, or the final transfer of an arm from another Member State to Luxembourg is subject to prior authorization or consent delivered by the Arms Service of the Ministry of Justice.
Inversely, the final transfer of an arm from Luxembourg to another Member State of the European Union, or the export to a third country, requires prior authorization given by the destination country. Following review of the application and documentation, the Ministry of Justice delivers a permit or license for the transfer/export of firearms.
In the case of a transfer of firearms between licensed arms dealers within the European Union, when no authorization is necessary depending on the duration of the license (3 years maximum), the transaction must be declared to the Ministry of Justice using the form for declaration of transfer of firearms by a licensed arms dealer.
Note: holding and circulating with a civil firearm within the European Union requires a European Firearm Pass delivered upon application by the authorities of the Member State of residence to a person who is legally authorized to own a firearm. A European Firearm Pass allows an individual to travel with one or more arms mentioned on the pass. As the case may be, depending on the regulation applicable in the Member State of travel, the European Firearm Pass must be presented for visa to the competent authorities of this Member State prior to any travel with the firearms.
Procedures related to firearms for individuals are available on Guichet.lu citizens portal.
The following written procedures on the Guichet.lu website can be used to submit applications to the Ministry of Justice:
- application to obtain a European Firearm Pass [FR]
- application to transfer firearms out of Luxembourg
- application to transfer firarms into Luxembourg
- declaration of transfer of firearms by a licensed arms dealer
For the export of civil firearms to third countries, the operator should directly consult the Arms Service.
In Luxembourg, authorizations for the import, manufacture, conversion, repair, acquisition, purchase, ownership, storage, transport, sale, assignment, export and trade of civil arms and ammunition falls under the authority of the Arms Service of the Ministry of Justice.