Weapons; General Information

Handling weapons - acquisition, possession, carrying, transport, transfer, manufacture, treatment, etc. - is either free, subject to an age requirement, subject to a permit or generally prohibited. The acquisition and possession of ammunition is similarly regulated.


Weapons, e.g. firearms, certain knives, swords, defensive spray, etc., are divided into various categories under the Weapons Act. Handling them - acquiring, possessing, carrying, transporting, transferring, manufacturing, handling, etc. - is either free, subject to an age requirement, subject to a permit or generally prohibited. The acquisition and possession of ammunition is similarly regulated. If you are in any doubt, please contact your district administrative authority (Landratsamt or Kreisfreie Stadt).

As a rule, only persons who have reached the age of 18 are permitted to handle weapons or ammunition. There are exceptions, e.g. when shooting at authorized shooting ranges under supervision. For the acquisition and possession of large-caliber weapons, the minimum age for sport shooters is usually 21 years. For the acquisition of large-caliber firearms, persons between the ages of 18 and 25 must also provide a medical-psychological certificate of their personal suitability. Hunters are exempt from this requirement. If you want to handle weapons or ammunition, you will in most cases need a weapons permit from your district administrative authority. This permit is issued on application, e.g. in the form of a weapons ownership card, a weapons license, a shooting permit, a manufacturing and trading permit, etc. The prerequisites for the issuance of these permits are, as a rule, that you are reliable and physically fit, can credibly demonstrate a need, have the necessary expertise and, in some cases, have appropriate liability insurance.

As a rule, reliability is given if you have so far behaved in a law-abiding manner. A need can exist especially for sport shooters, hunters, gun collectors and demonstrably significantly endangered persons. The expertise can be obtained from state authorities, private institutions (e.g. sports clubs) or during training to become a hunter.

If you own firearms or ammunition, you must ensure that these weapons are stored safely. This is to prevent firearms or ammunition from being lost or third parties, especially children and young people, from taking these items without authorization.


  • Weapons permits, like other state permits, are subject to fees. The individual fees can be obtained from the responsible district administrative authority (district office or independent city) or accessed via the corresponding service description (see "Related topics").

Status: 04.10.2022

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

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