The SIA, a powerful tool in the fight against document fraud

Decree No. 2022-144 of February 8, 2022 implements the weapons information system (SIA) accessible to weapon owners.

Any holder of weapons (hunters, sports shooters, collectors, etc.), of ammunition or of their elements is required to create his individualized account in the information system on weapons between the date on which this account is made available and the July 1, 2023. The Weapons Information System or SIA aims to list all the weapons in circulation on French territory but also to simplify the administrative procedures (edition of its European firearms or collector’s card by example) and to secure data in connection with the National File of Persons Prohibited from Acquiring and Possessing Weapons (FINIADA).

These formalities already existed in paper format in the computerized file of owners and possessors of weapons (AGRIPPA) created by an order of November 15, 2007.
Due to the obsolescence of the AGRIPPA system and the obligation to transpose European Directive (EU) 2017/853 of May 17, 2017, which aimed to combat the misuse of firearms for criminal purposes, the new article R312-91 of the internal security code (CSI) provides for the extension to individuals of the SIA created for professionals by decrees n° 2020-486 and n° 2020-487 of April 28, 2020.

If this system should make it possible to facilitate the administrative procedures of the hunter, it is also an effective means of control for the administration.

  • Gradual entry into force:

The entry into force of this new article R312-91 of the CSI is broken down in time since in application of the decree of February 8, 2022 implementing Article 8 of Decree No. 2022-144 of February 8, 2022, only adults with a hunting license can create their account. In accordance with III of article 14 of decree n° 2022-144 of February 8, 2022, the SIA will be open, at the latest, on December 31, 2022, to all private holders (licensees of the French ball- trap, ski and sport shooting and collectors) as well as to non-licensed gun owners (former licensees of sport shooting, clay pigeon shooting and ski shooting federations as well as holders who have found or inherited guns).

As of July 1, 2023, any holder of weapons, ammunition or their elements will be required to have created their individualized account in the SIA (Article 8 of Decree No. 2022-144 of February 8, 2022).

  • Digitization of the hunter’s rack facilitating administrative procedures:

From the creation of his individualized account, the holder will receive a number ” AIS », which will be his personal number of arms holder who will follow him throughout his life. He will communicate this number to his gunsmith each time he goes there to acquire a weapon, have it repaired or sell it. It is thanks to this number that he will be identified in the system by the professionals but also by the administration, which will be able to communicate directly with him through his personal account.

Similarly, requests for authorisation, acquisition and possession of category A or B weapons or renewal of such authorisations, made by the persons mentioned in article R. 312-40 of the CSI, are made by through the individualized account from a date set by order of the Minister of the Interior.

When he opens his account, the holder will have direct access to his ” rack digital “. This ” rack » will not be empty when creating an account. The owner will normally find all the weapons he owns there., in any case all the weapons that he is supposed to hold in the eyes of the administration. It is specified that, thanks to a transition period, the holder will have 6 months from the date of creation of his account to update his ” rack » in particular by adding a new weapon that should have been included (Article 12, I of decree no. 2022-144 of February 8, 2022)

Equivalent and transitional treatment is also reserved for the possessor of category A and B weapons (Article 12, II of decree no. 2022-144 of February 8, 2022). For people who are in possession of a weapon following an inheritance, a specific system has also been put in place to facilitate the registration of their weapons. Thus, now the heirs who wish to keep the weapons of their deceased can also do so simply by declaring these weapons on the SIA in an account ” unlicensed holder even if they don’t have a hunting permit or a shooting license.

As from the provision of the individualized account, the administrative procedures related to the acquisition of weapons, ammunition or their elements of categories A, B or C, to the obtaining and the follow-up of the titles of acquisition and possession of such weapons, ammunition or elements, will be carried out electronically through this account (Article 8 IV of Decree No. 2022-144 of February 8, 2022). The portal created for gun owners called ” space holders will allow them to carry out many procedures after having created their personal account.

The deployment of the SIA will be accompanied by administrative simplification measures induced by this digitization: automated verification of the validity of certain documents (shooting license, prior authorization or hunting permit, etc.), global weapons authorization valid for 5 years, removal of the declaration receipt or even automatic generation of the European weapons card. To this end, the Ministry of the Interior specifies that before the summer of 2022, the holder will also have access to all the administrative procedures previously carried out by him by post or by the gunsmith. He will be able to validate the acquisition of a firearm, apply for authorization, generate a European firearms card or even apply for a collector’s card.

It will also make it possible to develop and simplify the regulations on weapons, in particular by reducing the documents requested for applications for authorizations to acquire and possess weapons. In the event of difficulty related to the lack of computer equipment, internet connection or habit of using the digital tool, the Ministry of the Interior explains that the holder can get help:

  • In the digital reception points which exist in all the prefectures (permanences will be organized by the latter at the rate of at least one day per week);
  • From their federation or their gunsmith. Indeed, the SIA was designed in close collaboration with the four major federations of firearms owners (hunting, shooting, clay pigeon shooting and skiing/biathlon) and representatives of firearms professionals.
  • Reinforcement of checks on holders of firearms:

It cannot be overlooked that this ” simplification » and the dematerialization of the weapons holder rack will also facilitate the recurrence of checks on holders. Each holder of weapons will indeed be subject to periodic checks with the criminal record and certain files of the Ministry of the Interior, in order to ensure their ability to acquire and hold weapons. The SIA is also a powerful tool in the fight against document fraud. Authorizations will be completely dematerialized and the SIA will be interconnected with the information systems of the federations (hunting, shooting, clay pigeon shooting, skiing/biathlon).

This interconnection of files will also result in supporting a strengthening of FINIADA.
Symbolically, the new articles R312-84 to R312-91 of the CSI concerning the SIA come to lean on the continuation of subsection 1 ” National file of prohibited acquisition and possession of weapons (FINIADA) “. FINIADA lists all persons prohibited from acquiring and possessing weapons following an administrative or judicial measure under article L312-16 of the CSI. To date, 100,000 people appear in FINIADA, compared to 30,000 in 2019. The Central Arms and Explosives Service (SCAE), a service attached to the Ministry of the Interior and responsible for deploying the SIA , intervenes to check the reports of registrations in FINIADA communicated by the federations authorized to consult this file.

In conclusion, and knowing that on the horizon of July 1, 2023, the creation of a personalized SIA will be mandatory for all weapon owners, it is now necessary for everyone to be able to check that they are in good compliance with the legislation relating to the conditions of possession and conservation of weapons. Moreover, and knowing that many old weapons are not, to date, declared, it would be particularly surprising in the eyes of the administration that a hunter validating his license to hunt each year does not officially hold at least one less a gun.

Aymard de la Ferte-Senectère
Lawyer Associated nozzles

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The SIA, a powerful tool in the fight against document fraud

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