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Licence for commercial arms trade Granting

The handling of weapons or ammunition requires a permit.

Authorisation to acquire, distribute or transfer firearms or ammunition on a commercial or independent basis within the framework of a commercial undertaking shall be granted by the competent authority. It may be restricted to certain types of firearms and ammunition.

An arms trade book must be kept showing the type and quantity of firearms, their origin and whereabouts.

Process flow

The competent body shall check whether the applicant is satisfied with the requisite good repute. For this purpose, it obtains information from the Federal Central Register and the Public Prosecutor's Office Register of Proceedings as well as an opinion from the local police station. The proof of personal suitability, expertise, need and commercial activity or economic enterprise must be provided by the customer.

If there are doubts about personal suitability, the competent authority has the option of requesting an official or specialist medical certificate or a specialist psychological certificate of mental or physical fitness.

Who should I contact?

The responsibility lies with the district, the district-free city, the large independent city and the independent municipality.

This procedure can also be carried out through a "Point of Single Contact". The "Point of Single Contact" is a special service offered by municipalities and the state for service providers.

Find your Point of Single Contact here


  • Completion of the age of 18
  • Reliability
    • The required reliability requires, above all, that there is no criminal record.
  • personal suitability
    • For example, those persons do not possess the required personal suitability for whom facts justify the assumption that they are legally incapacitated, dependent on alcohol or mentally ill.
  • Expertise
    • If necessary, the required proof of specialist knowledge of the most important weapons law and shooting regulations, of the type, construction and handling of common firearms and ammunition can be obtained by means of an examination at the Hanover Chamber of Industry and Commerce.
    • The specialist knowledge is deemed to be given if the requirements for the entry of a gunsmith's business in the register of craftsmen are met.
  • Proof of a need
    • The need (a reasonable reason) may arise from a personal or economic interest that must be particularly recognised, for example as an arms dealer.
  • Commercial or economic enterprise
    • A permit is only granted if the arms trade is carried out commercially or independently within the framework of an economic enterprise.

Hanover Chamber of Industry and Commerce

Which documents are required?

  • Certificate of expertise
  • Certificate issued by the competent judicial or administrative authority of the country of origin or the country from which the foreign national comes
  • Confirmation from the home authority
  • Proof of commercial establishment, premises/business premises
  • If applicable, copy of already issued weapons trade permit
  • Curriculum vitae

What are the fees?

Fees are charged in accordance with Section I No. 2 of the Annex Schedule of Fees of the Costs Ordinance to the Weapons Act (WaffKostV). Please contact the competent authority.

Cost Ordinance on the Weapons Act (WaffKostV)

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

The licence expires if the licence holder has not commenced the activity within one year of the licence being granted or has not carried it out for one year. The time limits may be extended for special reasons.

The licence holder must notify the competent authority within two weeks of the commencement and cessation of operations as well as the opening and closure of a branch or a dependent branch.

What else should I know?

In the case of gunsmiths entered in the Register of Gunmen, the weapons manufacturing licence includes the licence to trade in arms.

Technically approved by

Lower Saxony Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Transport

Source: Serviceportal Niedersachsen (Linie6PLus)