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The Napoleonic Wars 1792-1815

Easy question for a reenactor

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Easy question for a reenactor

Postby Maximrac » November 8th, 2013, 10:33 am

Are there any legal issues which concern reenactments. Especially when dealing with the firing of blackpowder weapons. In continental Europe, where I live, gun regulation and even the sale of fireworks is very strict. For example it is illegal to buy or light fireworks except on new years eve in the Netherlands.
So I guess when a reenactment group wishes to fire some blackpowder guns, law enforcement isn't going to be stoked about amateurs setting of blackpowder charges. I understand that at large events there are deals with local law enforcement.
But when reenactors have a weekend of camping with just their regiment how is this arranged. Are the members allowed to have gunpowder at home? (I know gunpowder is dumbeasy to create so it would be hard to regulate)
Or doesn't local law enforcement care.

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Re: Easy question for a reenactor

Postby Josh&Historyland » November 8th, 2013, 1:14 pm

In Britian you need to liase with the local Police. To own and fire an activated musket you must have a current black powder and shotgun licence, reenactment groups can usually assist people in getting them. Not sure about continental law.

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Re: Easy question for a reenactor

Postby ribolhos1978 » November 8th, 2013, 5:19 pm


In Portugal it works like this if you want to buy a musket or a black powder weapon: You must belong to the Antique Firearms Society and pay an anual cota;
If you want to fire a black powder weapon you must have the licence class F - for black powder users only.

This means that a Portuguese reenactor must belong to the Antiques Firearms Society and have the F licence. Only presenting this documents you can buy black powder to load your weapon.

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Re: Easy question for a reenactor

Postby John Waller » November 13th, 2013, 2:46 pm

In Britain to use gunpowder you require an Explosives Licence issued by your local police force. There are two categories - Acquire and Acquire and Keep. Practically this means if you have an Acquire licence you can be issued gunpowder up to the limit on your licence, typically 0.5kg - 1kg, at an event by someone with an Acquire and Keep licence. Any powder left over is returned to the Acquire and Keep holder. If you have an Acquire and Keep licence you can store at your home, in approved storage boxes, gunpowder up to a specified weight limit, typically 15kg. Amounts above this usually require additional security measures and a very good reason. I did know of someone who once had a 200kg licence. I understand that 50kg is usually the maximum these days. You currently need another document called an RCA to enable you to transport gunpowder.

Muskets and cannon of less than 50mm bore may be held on a Shotgun Certificate which is reasonably easy to obtain unless you have been a naughty boy.

Larger cannon and short barrelled muzzle loading weapons (pistols and short carbines) require a Firearms Licence which can be a little more difficult to obtain.

If you are planning to fire your weapons then it's usually a good idea to let the local police know where and when and to do this in writing and get an acknowledgement in writing. My group meets for drill on land governed by military law and advise the garrison authorities. There is usually no issue unless a service is being held at the garrison church.
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