Firearms license; application

If you want to carry a firearm in public, you must first apply for a firearms license.


In general, firearms are objects intended for attack or defense, signaling, hunting, distance injection, marking, sport or play, and in which projectiles are propelled through a barrel or in which solid bodies are fired in a targeted manner, the propulsive energy of which is introduced by muscle power or another energy source and can be stored or held by a locking device (for example, crossbows, arrow launchers).

A distinction is made between firearms requiring a permit and firearms not requiring a permit. To be allowed to carry firearms without a permit, you need a small firearms license (see under "Related topics"). However, you also need a firearms license if you want to carry compressed air weapons, spring-loaded weapons, andCO2 weapons under 7.5 joules marked with an "F" symbol in public. However, use of these weapons in fenced areas, such as for paintball activities, does not require a permit. Weapons requiring a permit include all weapons that are not alarm, irritant or signal weapons with a PTB mark in the circle. A detailed list of weapons for the acquisition and possession of which you need a weapons possession card can be found in Annex 2 of the Weapons Act.

It is recommended that you inform yourself in detail about the regulations of the Weapons Law before applying.

The firearms license allows you to possess a firearm outside of

  • your own home
  • your own business premises,
  • your own contented property (e.g. your own garden) and
  • a shooting range

to carry. If you carry the weapon with you, you must have the firearms license with you and be able to identify yourself with an ID card or passport.

You will receive the firearms license for a maximum of 3 years. You can have the firearms license renewed twice for a maximum of 3 years.

You can be denied the weapons license if you have not lived in Germany within the last 5 years.

If you move to another city or municipality, you do not have to have the Waffenschein rewritten.

If you do not have a weapons license, you may only carry a weapon in a locked container (not ready to access) and the weapon must not be loaded (not ready to fire).

If you handle weapons and ammunition without a weapons license, you may face a fine or imprisonment.


  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • You must have a valid permit to acquire and possess a weapon (e.g. hunting license or weapon possession card) or your employer if you want to carry the weapon as an employee of a security company.
  • You must prove that it is necessary for you to carry weapons in public (need).

    In order to be allowed to carry weapons in public, you must provide a credible reason to the responsible weapons authority. As a rule, a credible reason is recognized if
    • Your life is in great danger.
    • you are an employee of a security company.
    • You can credibly show other reasons why you want to carry weapons in public.
  • You must prove your reliability under weapons law.

    You can be assessed as reliable under weapons law if, among other things
    • you have not been legally sentenced to a custodial sentence of at least 1 year within the last 10 years and have not been a member of or supported a prohibited organization within the last 10 years.
    • it cannot be assumed that you misuse or improperly handle weapons or ammunition, do not keep these objects carefully or hand them over to persons who are not authorized to do so.
    • you have not been in preventive police custody with judicial authorization for violence more than once in the last 5 years.
    • You have not repeatedly or grossly violated the weapons law.
  • You must prove your personal suitability.

    You can be assessed as personally unsuitable, among other things, if
    • You are legally incompetent.
    • You are addicted to alcohol or other intoxicating substances, mentally ill, or debilitated.
    • you suffer from serious illnesses, such as brain injuries, or physical impairments, such as amputations or severe visual impairment.
    • it can be assumed that you cannot handle weapons or ammunition carefully or properly, or that you cannot store these items carefully, or that there is a concrete danger that you will endanger others or yourself.
  • You must demonstrate that you have sufficient knowledge of firearms and ammunition and how to handle them. You can shoot a firearm and know how to carry a firearm safely in public (expert knowledge).

    To be allowed to carry weapons in public, you must prove that you can handle them appropriately. In order to obtain the expertise in handling weapons and ammunition, you must attend an appropriate training course. The course includes a theoretical and practical part. At the end of the course, you will take an examination before an authorized examination board. If you pass the exam, you will receive a certificate for which weapons and ammunition you have acquired the expertise. You can also obtain the expertise only for the weapons and ammunition you wish to acquire and possess
  • You must have liability insurance that covers personal injury and property damage in a lump sum of 1 million euros.
  • You must demonstrate safe storage of weapons and ammunition.

    You must store weapons and ammunition safely. This generally means that only you, as an authorized person, have access to weapons and ammunition, for example, by carrying the key with you at all times. If you do not store your weapons and ammunition securely, you commit an administrative offense for which a fine of up to EUR 10,000 can be imposed. In addition, your reliability under weapons law may be called into question and your weapons possession card and weapons license may be revoked.

    When applying, you must provide information on both the storage location and the container in which you intend to store weapons and ammunition

    . In

    principle, you can use the following guidelines as a guide:

    • You must store ammunition requiring a permit in a sheet steel cabinet/container with a swing bolt lock.
    • You need a gun cabinet to store long guns and handguns requiring a permit, as well as ammunition requiring a permit. The type of gun cabinet you need depends on the number and type of weapons and/or ammunition you wish to acquire and possess.
      • You may store an unlimited number of long guns, up to 5 handguns and ammunition in a gun cabinet with resistance grade 0 in accordance with EN 1143-1 weighing up to 200 kilograms.
      • In a gun cabinet with resistance grade 0 according to EN 1143-1 with a weight of more than 200 kilograms, you may store an unlimited number of long guns, up to 10 handguns and ammunition.
      • In a gun cabinet with resistance grade 1 according to EN 1143-1 you may store an unlimited number of long guns and handguns as well as ammunition.
    • The following regulations apply in principle to the place where you may install the weapons cabinet:
      • If you live in an apartment building, you are not allowed to place the gun cabinet in the basement if each resident has only one so-called basement locker, which is only secured by a door with a padlock.
      • If you live in a common household with another gun owner, you are allowed to store the guns in a common gun cabinet.


You must apply for the firearms license at the competent firearms authority. Submit the application together with the required documents.

The firearms authority will issue you with a firearms license if you meet the necessary requirements.

Special notes

To help you complete the application more quickly, you can use NWR Identification Numbers (NWR ID):

  • Your PersonalNWR-ID (P- or F-NWR-ID) for the information about your person
  • the permitNWR-ID for the weapons permit (E-NWR-ID)
  • the weapons or parts of weapons NWR-ID (W- or T-NWR-ID).

You can obtain the NWR IDs on application to the relevant weapons authority.



Required documents

  • The following documents are required:

    • Identity card or passport (copy)
    • Weapons ownership card or hunting license
    • Proof of a need (for example proof of danger to your person)
    • Proof of liability insurance in the amount of 1 million euros (lump sum for personal injury and property damage)
    • Certificate of special expertise
    • Proof of storage (for example photo of lockable container)


  • The fees for issuing a firearms license range from 100 to 500 EUR.


administrative claim

Status: 10.03.2023

Responsible for editing: Bayerisches Staatsministerium des Innern, für Sport und Integration

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