Can you carry a weapon to defend yourself (knife, tear gas...)?

Verified 06 August 2021 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

The port and the transport (e.g. in a car) of a D-category weapon are prohibited without legitimate grounds.

In case of security check (check of a bag, a vehicle...), you must be able to provide a legitimate reason.

To determine if you have a valid reason to carry or transport a weapon, law enforcement, or the judge in case of dispute, take into account location, circumstances and context.

The examination of the lawful ground is done on a case by case basis.

Thus, to claim that the weapon would be used to better deal with an altercation or danger is not a legitimate ground in itself.

It depends on the location, the circumstances, and the context.

In case of non-compliance with the regulations on the carrying and transport of arms, the following penalties shall apply :

Tableau - Penalties for carrying or transporting a category D weapon out of the home without legitimate reason

Offense related to port and transport



Arms purchased and freely held: offense committed by 1 person alone


1 year

Arms purchased and freely held: offense committed by at least 2 persons


2 years

Weapons and launchers, the projectile of which is propelled non-pyrotechnically with an energy in the mouth of between 2 and 20 joules (paint ball launcher, compressed air rifle, etc.)




The following weapons are classified as category D. They may be purchased and held freely.

  • A concealed non-firearm.
    For example, an umbrella cane with swords.
  • A stabbing knife, a knife knife, a baton, a knife.
  • Incapacitating weapon acting by projection or emission.
    For example, some tear gas canisters with a maximum capacity of 100 ml.
  • Electric shock contact weapon that causes incapacitation and acts with touching end.
    For example, an electric baton or an electric fist, but not a taser.
  • A weapon or launcher in which the projectile is propelled non-pyrotechnically with an energy to the mouth of between 2 and 20 joules.
    For example, a paint ball launcher, a compressed air rifle.
  • Weapon designed exclusively for firing blank, gas or signaling ammunition, not convertible for other projectiles