Gun ownership card (Germany)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The gun ownership card is a license under gun law to acquire and own guns that require a license . The requirements for issuing a weapons possession card in Germany are regulated in the Weapons Act.

The authorities enter the firearms that the cardholder is allowed to own on the gun ownership card. As a rule, these are to target shooters , hunters , firearms collectors or heirs of weapons. The implementation of the Weapons Act is a matter for the federal states. The responsible approval authorities are thus determined by the respective federal state. These can then be, for example, the city or district regulatory authorities or the city or district police authorities.

The gun ownership card must be separated from the gun license. The gun license only entitles the holder to carry the guns registered therein.

Requirements for a gun ownership card

In order to acquire a gun ownership card, the applicant generally has to meet five requirements ( Section 4 WaffG). He must

  • be at least 18 years old,
  • legally reliable and
  • be personally suitable
  • the necessary expertise,
  • a gun law need

have proven.


The applicant must be reliable in terms of weapons law ( Section 5 WaffG). It is to be answered in the affirmative if there is no information about the applicant that suggests that he is unreliable in handling weapons. On the basis of information from the Federal Central Register , the Central Public Prosecutor's Procedure Register , the local police authorities and the responsible constitutional protection authority (Section 5 (5) WaffG), the weapons authority assesses whether there are any concerns about reliability. The Weapons Act specifies prerequisites where unreliability can always be assumed (Section 5 (1) WaffG) and those where reliability “as a rule” cannot be assumed (Section 5 (2) WaffG).

Personal aptitude

In contrast to reliability, personal suitability according to § 6 WaffG and § 4 AWaffV is linked to the physical requirements of the gun owner. Only people who are mentally and physically able to handle weapons meet the eligibility requirements. Are aptitude obstacles

  • Incapacity under civil law (Section 6, Paragraph 1, Clause 1, No. 1 WaffG),
  • Alcohol addiction , addiction to intoxicating substances , mental illness and debility (§ 6 Abs. 1 Satz 1 Nr. 2 WaffG) or
  • Facts that justify the assumption that the applicant does not handle weapons or ammunition carefully or appropriately or that he cannot store these items carefully or that there is a specific risk of harm to others or to himself (Section 6 (1) sentence 1 no. 3 WaffG) .

If there are doubts about personal suitability that are justified by facts, the weapons authority must request a specialist medical or specialist psychological certificate from the applicant (Section 6 (2) WaffG).

People between the ages of 21 and 25 usually have to submit an official or specialist medical or psychological certificate of their mental aptitude when applying for a weapon possession card for the first time (Section 6 (3) WaffG; Section 4 AWaffV). This regulation is a consequence of the rampage in Erfurt on April 26, 2002, when a 19-year-old schoolboy shot 16 people and himself. The new regulation requires young weapons aspirants to prove their intellectual aptitude. The law does not determine the further details. What is meant is the elucidation of character traits of the person concerned, such as general moral and moral maturity, prudence, self-control, social, interpersonal way of thinking, feeling of responsibility, consideration for the interests of others and the like. In the context of shooting sports, the suitability report is not required for small-caliber weapons up to a caliber of 5.6 mm lfb ( .22 lr ) for rimfire ammunition if the projectile energy does not exceed 200 joules or for single-shot long weapons with smooth barrels with caliber 12 or smaller (Section 6 (3) sentence 2 in conjunction with Section 14 (1) sentence 2 WaffG). Holders of a valid hunting license do not need to provide an official or specialist medical or specialist psychological certificate ( Section 13 (2) sentence 1 WaffG).

The terms certificate and expert opinion are both used by legislators and regulators. It is crucial that the certificate of suitability to be submitted to the competent authority may only contain the results of the expert opinion required for a decision by the authority. The expert opinion on which the certificate is based remains with the expert.


The applicant must have specialist knowledge ( Section 7 WaffG, Sections 1 to 3 AWaffV). Expertise is usually proven by taking an examination after a course at an authorized institution. In the case of hunters, the hunter test is a certificate of competence, which is preceded by a shooting training and a shooting test and training in weapon handling.


The applicant must prove a need under the law to acquire weapons ( Section 8 WaffG). There is no general right to gun ownership , such as the constitution of the United States of America , does not exist in Germany. In Germany, the principle applies that as few weapons as possible come among the population. Anyone who claims a weapon as a private person needs a reasonable reason for this.

The need can relate to hunting ( Section 13 WaffG), sport shooting ( Section 14 WaffG), collecting weapons according to culturally and historically significant aspects ( Section 17 WaffG), working as a weapons expert ( Section 18 WaffG) and self-protection ( 19 WaffG), whereby the hurdles for the last group are very high: The person concerned must be at much greater risk than the general public from attacks on life or limb, and the acquisition of firearms and ammunition must be suitable and necessary to address this risk to be reduced (§ 19 Abs. 1 WaffG). In these cases, a permit to run outside of one's own property is also possible (Section 19 (2) WaffG). However, firearms are rarely suitable and necessary to repel a sudden attack, since attackers usually take advantage of the element of surprise. The requirements of § 19 WaffG are generally only affirmed for value transport companies and security companies . Other private individuals, however, almost never meet the requirements.

A special need is only not required if the weapon is acquired by way of inheritance ( Section 20 WaffG). The number of “arms heirs” is now by far the largest number of arms owners, which runs counter to the legislative concern of bringing as few arms as possible to the people. This is counteracted by three different measures: If the heir cannot prove a recognized need (e.g. as a marksman, hunter), he must apply for the weapon possession card for heirs within one month of accepting the inheritance; a later application leads to the loss of the heir privilege . The heritage privilege does not extend to second on inherited ammunition and weapons possession card for heirs not entitled to retroactive ammunition acquisition. Thirdly, hereditary weapons must be equipped with technical measures (blocking system) in such a way that firing is no longer possible (Section 20 (3) sentence 2 WaffG).

Various gun ownership cards

The "green gun ownership card"

WBK green outside
WBK green inside

The “green gun ownership card” is issued in accordance with Section 10 of the Weapons Act. For hunters in connection with Section 13 of the Weapons Act and for sport shooters of an association recognized under Section 15 of the Weapons Act in connection with Section 14 of the Weapons Act. Multi-shot pistols and revolvers (including small caliber), long weapons such as self-loading rifles, self-loading shotguns, bolt-action rifles, bolt-action shotguns and single-shot rifles can be purchased on the green WBK. Each weapon must be applied for individually in advance from the competent authority. The purchase permit for the weapon applied for is then entered as a "pre-entry" in the WBK. The weapon applied for must then be purchased within one year, otherwise the pre-entry will expire. An exception applies to hunters who hold a valid annual hunting license . According to Section 13 Paragraph 3 of the Weapons Act, they are allowed to acquire long weapons without prior approval, but they must register these weapons within 14 days and have them registered in their WBK.

The following applies to sport shooters: The rule requirement for weapons of the green WBK includes two multi-shot handguns and three self-loading rifles . Regular participation in shooting training is sufficient for this “basic contingent”. According to No. 14.2.1 of the General Administrative Regulations for the Weapons Act (WaffVwV) of March 5, 2012, regular participation should be given if shooting with firearms requiring a permit is practiced once a month or 18 times throughout the year. The administrative regulation only binds the weapons authority; an administrative court is not bound by this interpretation in the event of a dispute and can decide differently. In addition, according to Section 14 of the Weapons Act, in order to acquire weapons with a caliber of more than "5.6 mm lfB (.22 lr) for rimfire ammunition ...", in deviation from Section 4 of the Weapons Act, the marksman must have reached the age of 21.

The "yellow gun ownership card"

WBK yellow from 2003
WBK yellow from 2003

The “yellow weapon possession card” is issued to sport shooters from an association recognized under Section 15 of the Weapons Act in accordance with Section 14 (4) of the Weapons Act. Holder of such weapons permit may single shot with smooth and rifled barrels, Repetierlangwaffen (mehrschüssig) with rifled barrels, barreled single-shot handguns for cartridge ammunition acquire and multi-shot short and long guns with Zündhütchenzündung (percussion weapons). The number of weapons that can be purchased is not limited, but as a rule only two weapons can be purchased within six months. Furthermore, the acquired weapon must be approved in the discipline of the sports regulations of a recognized shooting sports association. The acquisition must be registered with the responsible weapons authority within 14 days.

The "red gun ownership card"

For weapon collectors according to § 17 Weapons Act and weapons experts according to § 18 Weapons Act. This firearms possession card is issued for firearms of a certain type or a certain collection area, in special cases also for "firearms of all kinds". In order to acquire a weapon, the owner does not need a preliminary entry, they only have to register the acquired firearms within two weeks according to § 17 and 3 months according to § 18 and have them entered in the WBK.

Gun ownership card for shooting clubs or hunting associations

With the last amendment to the AWaffV, a new permit was created for these groups. In the past, the authorities used the previous green WBK, which they z. B. rededicated to the "Verein-WBK". The license holder was either the chairman of the association on the first page, or the association and the respective beneficiaries on page 6 of the WBK. The new form has 8 pages and is generally issued to the association. Authorized persons can be entered on pages 6 and 7, but they can also be withdrawn.

Special features according to weapon owner groups


Long guns: Holders of an annual hunting license may purchase, own or borrow as many long guns as they need to hunt .

Handguns: Hunters are permitted to own two handguns as catching guns to release injured wild animals or for construction and trapping without a need test. The need is assumed to be given in accordance with Section 13 (2) sentence 2 of the Weapons Act. The caliber is irrelevant, a minimum energy of 200 joules at the muzzle (E0) is required only for shots to be caught on hoofed game. A higher number than two is also possible for hunters on request, but they must then justify the need for each individual handgun. Hunting abroad is conceivable here, which is permitted with handguns and for which another handgun can be approved.

The obligations relating to acquisition, registration, storage and, if applicable, disposal are regulated in Section 13 of the Weapons Act and do not differ from other weapon owners.

Sport shooters

Sport shooters are also approved for more than two handguns or three semi-automatic long guns if there is a corresponding need under gun law. For example, in regular competitive sports in other disciplines for which the existing firearms are not permitted according to the sports regulations of the association. The relevant shooting sports association issues the respective certificates of need for the sport shooter in compliance with legal and internal requirements. In general, the approved shooting sports associations tend to only support this quota exceeding shooters who can be shown to take part in supraregional competitions.

The weapon possession card entitles the holder to transport weapons that are not ready to fire and not accessible to the respective event, i.e. transport to the shooting range and must be carried along with the identity card or passport.

water sports

Water sports enthusiasts can apply for a gun ownership card to purchase a 4 caliber signal pistol . Here, too, the prerequisite is the existence of a need; Owning a seaworthy sport boat is usually sufficient. The water sports enthusiast must also be knowledgeable, he must be able to present the certificate of competence for distress signals . As a water sports enthusiast, up to two distress signal pistols are normally approved, one for the main ship and one for the dinghy. Another special feature is the storage; The water sports enthusiast must be able to make credible that he is storing the weapons at home in a certified class B weapons cabinet, but in the boat only in a sheet steel box firmly attached to the boat hull with a door with a minimum thickness of four millimeters that has a swivel bolt is to be closed. A container with these specifications is also called a hamburger box .

Revocation of the gun ownership card

In the case of unreliable gun owners, the gun ownership card must be revoked. If there are grounds for revocation, the weapons authority has no discretion. A reason for revocation is the loss of personal reliability in terms of weapons law. The law differentiates between absolute and rule unreliability reasons.

Anyone who is absolutely unreliable in terms of weapons law

  • because of a crime or
  • has been sentenced to imprisonment of at least one year for other willful criminal offenses ( Section 5 (1) No. 1 WaffG).

This also applies in the event that the execution of the sentence has been suspended on probation. In addition, anyone who uses weapons or ammunition improperly or carelessly, who does not handle weapons or ammunition carefully or appropriately, or who does not store these objects carefully or who leaves weapons or ammunition to persons who are not authorized to do so, is also absolutely unreliable in terms of weapons law ( § 5 para . 1 No. 2 WaffG). Above all, the case of incorrect safekeeping occurs frequently since the weapons authority has been allowed to carry out unannounced on-site inspections, but also when it becomes known that weapons that have not been adequately secured after a break-in (weapon in the bedside table drawer). Anyone who does not handle their weapons and ammunition in the prescribed manner will always lose their weapon ownership card.

Usually unreliable in terms of weapons law are u. a. People that

have been sentenced to imprisonment, a youth penalty, a fine of at least 60 daily rates or at least twice a lower fine ( Section 5 (2) No. 1 WaffG). Unreliability of the rules can also be assumed in the case of a suspended sentence.

In contrast to the law in force until March 31, 2008, which provided for the withdrawal of weapons possession cards in the event of only very specific criminal offenses, the law in force since April 1, 2008 is now primarily linked to the penalty of at least 60 daily rates. If the sentence is imprisonment or youth penalty, there is no minimum requirement. The conviction does not have to be based on a weapon-specific misconduct. Even a drunk drive in a car, tax evasion , insult or the breach of maintenance obligation is sufficient.

The assumption of a rule of unreliability under the law on weapons is omitted only in atypical circumstances. According to the case law of the Federal Administrative Court, a deviation from the presumption can only be considered if the circumstances of the convicted offense make the misconduct appear in such a mild light that the doubts usually justified by such an offense according to the legislature's assessment are raised the trustworthiness of the person concerned with regard to the handling of weapons and ammunition are not justified. According to this, a crime-related examination is required in the form of an assessment of the gravity of the specific misconduct and the personality of the person concerned, as expressed in his behavior.

In addition, it follows directly from the wording of the law that a single conviction for one of the offenses listed in Section 5 (2) No. 1 WaffG justifies the standard presumption if a fine of at least 60 daily rates has been imposed. The presumption cannot therefore be invalidated if the person concerned has otherwise not been criminally detected.

The direct or indirect reference of the criminal offenses to the use of weapons as expressed in the earlier version of the law has been expressly abandoned. When the regular presumption of unreliability applies is no longer primarily determined according to the type of crime committed, but rather the legal consequences, namely the amount of the penalty imposed, are generally applied. Therefore, an exceptional case can no longer be justified by the fact that the specific crime was not related to a weapon.

The objection of previous family or work problems, which is often raised in connection with drunkenness, generally does not constitute an atypical factor. In the case of life matters already punished by the criminal courts, an atypical is also only imaginable in exceptional cases, because any guilt-mitigating circumstances in the commission of the criminal offense (e.g. grounds for justification or excuse, such as self-defense or emergency ) generally lead to impunity or at least to mitigation. If the criminal court nevertheless still considers a fine of 60 daily rates or more to be commensurate with guilt, there is hardly any leeway for accepting an exceptional case. However, the question of the exceptional case can be fully examined by the administrative court; legally it is an indefinite legal term and not a margin of discretion . If there is no atypical and therefore unreliability can be assumed, the gun ownership card must be revoked.

See also


  • Rolf Hennig : The weapons expertise test in question and answer for marksmen, hunters, gun license applicants, security companies, leisure captains, gun collectors . 21st, revised edition. BLV, Munich, Vienna and Zurich 2002, ISBN 3-405-15772-2
  • Apel / Bushart Waffenrecht, Volume 2: Weapons Law Commentary, 3rd, completely revised edition, Verlag W. Kohlhammer, ISBN 3-17-018244-7
  • Apel / Bushart Weapons Act, Volume 3: General Weapons Act Ordinance, Commentary, 3rd completely revised edition, Verlag W. Kohlhammer, ISBN 3-17-018341-9
  • Steindorf / Heinrich / Papsthart, Waffenrecht, 9th edition, Verlag CH Beck Munich 2010, ISBN 978-3-406-58553-1
  • André Busche: Gun ownership card and gun license. Legal specialist publisher, Kiel 2012, ISBN 978-3-940723-27-7
  • Heller / Soschinka, Waffenrecht - Handbuch für die Praxis, 2nd edition, Verlag CH Beck 2008, ISBN 978-3-406-55727-9

Individual evidence

  1. Steindorf, Waffenrecht, 8th edition, 2007, § 6 marginal no. 11.
  2. See No. 6.4 of the General Administrative Regulation on the Weapons Act (WaffVwV) of March 5, 2012.
  3. Cf. official justification of the government draft on § 19 WaffG, BT-Drs. 14/7758 , p. 66.
  4. Steindorf, Waffenrecht, Section 19, no. 13.
  5. As early as 2001, the federal government stated that the number of legal firearms owners by inheritance is continuously increasing and is approaching the number that arises for sport shooters and hunters combined ( BT-Drs. 14/7758 , p. 66) (PDF; 999 kB).
  6. General administrative regulation for the Weapons Act (Federal Republic of Germany)
  7. Questionnaire for proof of competence for distress signals
  8. § 45 para. 2 i. V. with Section 4 Paragraph 1 No. 2 in conjunction with V. with § 5 WaffG.
  9. Possible since the revision of Section 36 (3) sentence 2 WaffG with effect from July 25, 2009. Before that, the authority had to be able to present “reasonable doubts about safe storage”, which ruled out checks that were not suspect.
  10. ^ Message from the Weser-Kurier dated August 28, 2010 Bremen tightened gun controls
  11. BVerwG, ruling v. July 21, 2008 - 3 B 12.08 -  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. No. 5.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  
  12. Official Justification for the amendment law BT-Drs. 14/7758, p. 128 on number 10, PDF doc. 999 KB.

Web links