As some of you may be aware, when you subscribe to the French Shooting Federation to shoot for sport and do the required legal paperwork, you can acquire a firearm for the sole purpose of practicing shooting at a shooting range (you can't carry it on you; you can only transport it between your home and your shooting range). As such, the firearm is as much a sport equipment as a bow or a javelin/spear for example.
The safety rules are clear:
- Always consider a weapon as loaded.
- Never point the gun toward a target you don't wish to destroy (or point it only toward a target you want to destroy).
- Only put your finger on the trigger when you took your aim and are ready to shoot.
- Be aware of your target and its surrounding (i.e. if it goes through, make sure no one is behind).
Along with the safety rules, you have one specific rule in the French Shooting Federation flier (this one is from 2016) that says (page 4):
interdiction absolue de viser quelqu’un sous peine de radiation
Which translates into: "It is strictly forbidden to target someone/point your gun toward someone; if you do, you will be banned" (i.e. most likely your license will be revoked, your firearm(s) will be taken away, and you will be on the files of people who are forbidden from owning a firearm).
Now, let's assume I am a law abiding citizen who acquired a firearm for leisure shooting at a shooting range, which I am storing unloaded in a locked safe at home. Someone breaks into my home and I end up in a life threatening situation (either one of my family members or myself). I somehow manage to have my firearm loaded with a chambered round and use it to threaten the assailant.
If the assailant decided later on to sue me for improper usage of a sport firearm, what would be the legal consequences for me (the leisure shooter who acquired a firearm only for sport)? What if I shot and injured the assailant?