Legislation crossbows, handbows and blowguns
Crossbows are legal, but as you can read in the bolded sections of the law below, crossbows do fall under Category IV of the Weapons and Ammunition Act (Article 2, paragraph 5). This means that persons under the age of 18 are not allowed to have a crossbow on hand (Article 26, paragraph 5). You are also not allowed to carry a crossbow (article 27, paragraph 1), which means that it must be properly packed during transport in such a way that it cannot be used for immediate use. Nor may you hunt with a crossbow.
Like you, we are also prohibited from transferring crossbows to persons under 18 years of age (Article 31(4)). Because of this, when you order a crossbow from us, we are forced to verify that you have reached the age of 18. We do this by checking your proof of identity. This can be a passport, identity card or driver's license - whatever you wish. After you place an order for a crossbow with us, you will be asked shortly thereafter by email to email us a scan or photo of such proof. You may send the scan or photo even when you have not yet received the relevant e-mail, this will avoid delays. It is sufficient if only your name and date of birth are visible on the scan or photo. The other information is not important for verification.
We only use the scan or photo for the age verification. We may not and will not sell your personal information to third parties. Our employees are legally obliged to respect the confidentiality of your data.
Weapons and Ammunition Act
1°. blank weapons whose blade has more than one cutting edge, insofar as they are not included in Category I;
2°. swords, swords, sabers and bayonets;
4°. air, gas and spring-loaded weapons, except for such designated by Our Minister in accordance with category I, under 7°, that resemble a firearm in such a way that they are suitable for threat or depredation;
5°. crossbows and harpoons;
6°. objects designated by regulation of Our Minister that are suitable for inflicting serious bodily harm on persons with them;
7°. Objects of which, in view of their nature or the circumstances under which they are found, it can be reasonably assumed that they are intended to inflict injury or threat of injury to persons and which do not fall under any of the other categories.
1. The possession of a category II and III weapon or ammunition is prohibited.
2. Paragraph 1 shall not apply to persons who hold:
a. a permit as referred to in Article 28, paragraph 1, of the Act, insofar as this permit extends; or
b. a hunting license as referred to in the Flora and Fauna Act, with respect to category III firearms and ammunition intended for hunting, management and damage control that are described in the hunting license.
3. Our Minister may, by regulation, grant exemption from the prohibition in subsection 1 for category III weapons or ammunition with respect to hunters and sport shooters who have their permanent place of residence or domicile outside the Netherlands.
4. Our Minister may establish rules with respect to the persons referred to in the second paragraph with regard to:
a. medical fitness and skill in handling firearms;
b. the required knowledge in the area of firearms; and
c. the maximum number of firearms they are allowed to have on hand.
5. Persons who have not reached the age of eighteen years are prohibited from possessing a category IV firearm.
6. Our Minister may by regulation grant exemption from the prohibition of subsection 5 in the context of sports practiced in a club setting or recreational activities designated by Our Minister in establishments established for that purpose in which firearms are carried as referred to in Article 2, paragraph 1, category IV, subsection 4° and subsection 5° with respect to crossbows.
1. It is prohibited to carry a category II, III and IV weapon.
2. The first paragraph does not apply to persons who:
a. hold a permit as referred to in article 29, insofar as this permit extends; or
b. are permitted to have firearms destined for hunting, management and damage control purposes under article 26, paragraph 2, insofar as this permit extends to the area where they are entitled to hunt, manage and damage control.
3. Our Minister may by regulation grant exemption from the prohibition in the first paragraph for category III and IV firearms with respect to:
a. parades; and
b. student defense associations.
4. Our Minister may by regulation grant exemption from the prohibition of the first paragraph for category IV weapons with respect to:
a. ceremonial weapons; and
b. recreational activities.
1. It is prohibited to transfer a category II and III firearm or ammunition.
2. Paragraph 1 shall not apply to transfers to persons entitled to possess the firearm or ammunition.
3. Without prejudice to the provisions of the first paragraph, the transfer of a category III firearm shall be prohibited without taking delivery of the permit to acquire referred to in Article 32.
4. It shall be prohibited to transfer a category IV weapon to a person who has not reached the age of eighteen years.
5. By regulation of Our Minister, exemption from the prohibition of subsection 4 may be granted in the context of club sports.
Handbows are not covered by the Weapons and Ammunition Act, which means they are (much) less strictly regulated. A person under the age of 18 is allowed to have a handbow on hand, but it is doubtful whether the bow is suitable for young people. We are also not required to do any age verification when you order a handgun from us.
However, in addition to the national firearms law, you do need to consider local ordinances. A handbow that you are in principle allowed to carry with you may be prohibited by a local ordinance. Also, handbows may not be used for hunting.
Like handbows, blowguns are not covered by the Weapons and Ammunition Act. Thus, a person under the age of 18 may simply have a blowgun on hand. Nevertheless, blowguns are not toys: they are classified by the government as potentially lethal weapons. A needle from a blowgun can penetrate up to several centimeters deep into the skin.
A blowgun may not be used to hunt, including pests such as rats or mice. Also, always keep local ordinances in mind: as a result, a blowgun may be prohibited despite not being classified as a weapon.