Small arms license; application

If you want to carry permit-free firearms, such as alarm, irritant and signal weapons with approval marks from the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), in public, you need a small firearms license.


If you have a small firearms license, you may carry permit-free weapons, such as alarm, irritant and signal weapons with approval marks from the PTB in the district, outside of

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

carry concealed. However, you may not carry these weapons at public events.

A distinction is made between firearms requiring a permit and firearms not requiring a permit. Permit-exempt firearms include

  • Firearms that fire cartridge ammunition (alarm guns),
  • firearms that shoot irritants or other agents (irritant weapons),
  • firearms firing pyrotechnic ammunition (signal weapons).

You can recognize weapons that do not require a permit by the approval mark "PTB" in the circle. All weapons that are not alarm, irritant and signal weapons with the PTB mark in the circle are counted as weapons requiring a permit. A detailed list of weapons for the acquisition and possession of which you need a weapons possession card (WBK) can be found in Annex 2 of the Weapons Act.

However, you also need a weapons license if you want to carry compressed air weapons, spring-loaded weapons andCO2 weapons with less than 7.5 joules, which are marked with an "F" sign, in public. Use of these weapons in fenced areas, such as for paintball activities, does not require a permit.

Generally, 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 selectively fired, the propulsive energy of which is introduced by muscular force or other energy source and can be stored or held by a locking device (for example, crossbows, arrow launchers).

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

The small firearms license is valid for an unlimited period of time.

If you carry a weapon without a permit, you must be able to identify yourself with an identity card or passport and the small firearms license.

You may be denied the small firearms license if you have not resided in Germany within the last 5 years.

If you move to another city or municipality, you do not have to have the small firearms license rewritten.

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


To obtain the small firearms license, you must be

  • be at least 18 years old,
  • your reliability under weapons law,
  • your personal suitability and
  • prove the safe storage of weapons and ammunition.

Reliability under weapons law

You can be assessed as reliable under weapons law if, among other things,

  • if you have not been legally sentenced to a prison term 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.
  • if it cannot be assumed that you misuse or improperly handle weapons or ammunition, keep these objects carefully or hand them over to persons who are not authorized to do so.
  • if you have not been in preventive police custody with judicial authorization for violence more than once in the last 5 years.
  • if you have not repeatedly or grossly violated the weapons law.

Personal suitability

You can be assessed as personally unsuitable, among other things, if

  • you are legally incompetent.
  • you are dependent on alcohol or other intoxicating substances, are 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 are not able to handle weapons or ammunition carefully or properly or that there is a concrete danger that you will endanger others or yourself.


You can apply for the small firearms license in writing or online if necessary.

If you apply for the small firearms license in writing:

  • You fill out the form provided by the competent weapons authority.
  • You send the signed form and the photo of the storage container by mail to the competent weapons authority.
  • You can also visit the competent weapons authority.

If you apply for the small arms license online:

  • You call up the online service of the competent weapons authority.
  • You enter the required data and upload the photo of the storage container.

Required documents

  • The following documents are required:

    • Identity card or passport (copy)
    • Proof of storage (for example, photo of lockable container)


  • The fees for issuing a small arms license range from 30 to 150 EUR.


Commitment action at the administrative court

Status: 10.11.2022

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

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  • Online transactions, Bavaria-wide
  • Online transactions, locally limited
  • Prefillable Form, Bavaria-wide
  • Legal bases, Bavaria-wide
  • Legal bases, locally limited
  • Fees, Bavaria-wide
  • Fees, locally limited
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