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Apply for a firearms licence

If you want to carry a firearm with you in public, you will need a firearms license. In general, firearms are objects intended for attack or defence, signalling, hunting, distance injection, marking, sport or play and in which projectiles are propelled through a barrel or in which solid objects are fired in a targeted manner. whose propulsive energy can be introduced by muscle power or another energy source and stored or held by a locking device (e.g. crossbows, arrow launchers).

A distinction is made between firearms that require a licence and those that do not require a licence. In order to be allowed to carry firearms without a permit, you need a small firearms license (see further information). However, you will also need a firearms licence if you want to carry compressed air, spring-loaded guns and CO2 guns with less than 7.5 joules that are marked with an "F" mark in public. However, the use of these weapons in fenced areas, for example for paintball activities, does not require a permit. All weapons that are not alarm shots, irritants and signal weapons with PTB symbols in the circle are counted as subject to a permit. A detailed list of weapons for which you need a gun possession card can be found in Appendix 2 of the Weapons Act.

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

With the firearms license, you are allowed to drive a weapon outside

  • of one's own home,
  • of their own business premises,
  • of one's own pacified property (e.g. one's own garden) and
  • a shooting range

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

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

You may be refused a firearms licence if you have not lived in Germany within the last 5 years.

To obtain the firearms license, you must

  • be of the appropriate age, and
  • Your need,
  • Your reliability in terms of weapons law,
  • Your personal suitability,
  • Your expertise in the use of weapons and ammunition,
  • a liability insurance covering personal injury and property damage in the amount of 1 million euros, as well as
  • the safe storage of weapons and ammunition



In order to be allowed to carry weapons in public, you must give a credible reason (need) to the competent firearms authority. As a rule, a credible reason is accepted if:

  • Their lives are at high risk;
  • you are an employee of a security company;
  • You can credibly demonstrate other reasons why you want to carry weapons in public.

Reliability under weapons law

Among other things, you can be considered reliable in terms of weapons law,

  1. if you have not been sentenced to at least 1 year's imprisonment within the last 10 years and have not been a member of or supported a banned organisation in the last 10 years.
  2. if you are not likely to misuse or misuse weapons or ammunition, fail to store such items carefully or leave them to persons who are not authorized to do so.
  3. if you have not been in preventive police custody for violence more than once in the last 5 years with judicial authorisation.
  4. if you have not repeatedly or grossly violated the gun law.

Personal suitability

You may be considered personally unsuitable if, among other things:

  1. You are legally incapacitated.
  2. You are addicted to alcohol or other intoxicating substances, mentally ill or debilitated.
  3. You suffer from serious illnesses, such as brain injuries, or physical impairments, such as amputations or severe visual impairment.
  4. It can be assumed that you are not able to handle weapons or ammunition carefully or appropriately, or that there is a real risk that you will endanger others or yourself.


In order to be allowed to carry weapons in public, you must prove that you can handle them appropriately. In order to acquire the expertise in the handling of weapons and ammunition, you must take part in an appropriate course. The course consists of a theoretical and practical part. At the end of the course, you will take an exam in front of an authorized examination board. If you have passed the test, you will receive proof of the weapons and ammunition for which you have acquired the expertise. You can also obtain the expertise only for the weapons and ammunition that you wish to acquire and possess.


You need to keep weapons and ammunition safe. In general, this means that only you, as the 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 safely, you are committing an administrative offence for which a fine of up to 10,000 euros can be imposed. In addition, your reliability in terms of firearms law may be called into question and your weapon possession card and licence may be revoked.

When applying, you must provide information about both the storage location and the container in which you want to store weapons and ammunition. Basically, you can use the following guidelines as a guide:

  • Ammunition requiring a permit must be stored in a sheet steel cabinet/container with a swing bolt lock.
  • In order to store long guns and handguns that require a permit, as well as ammunition that requires a permit, you need a gun safe. The gun safe you need depends on the number and type of weapons and/or ammunition you want to purchase and possess.
    • In a gun safe with resistance grade 0 according to EN 1143-1 weighing up to 200 kilograms, you may store an unlimited number of long guns, up to 5 handguns and ammunition.
    • In a gun safe with resistance grade 0 according to EN 1143-1 weighing more than 200 kilograms, you may store an unlimited number of long guns, up to 10 handguns and ammunition.
    • In a gun safe with resistance grade 1 according to EN 1143-1, you are allowed to store an unlimited number of long guns and handguns as well as ammunition.
  • The following rules apply to the place where you are allowed to place the gun safe:
    • If you live in an apartment building, it is not allowed to place the gun safe in the basement if each resident has only one so-called cellar shed, which is only secured by a door with a padlock.
    • If you live in the same household as another gun owner, you may store the guns in a shared gun safe.

To complete the application faster, you can use the NWR identification numbers (NWR ID):

  • Your Personal NWR ID (P or F NWR ID) for your personal information
  • the permitNWR-ID for the firearms permit (E-NWR-ID)
  • the weapons or weapon part NWR ID (W or T-NWR ID).

You can obtain the NWR IDs upon application to the responsible weapons authority.

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

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

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

You can apply for a firearms licence in writing or online.

If you want to apply for a firearms licence in writing:

  • You fill out the form that you can obtain from the relevant firearms authority.
  • You send the signed form and documents, such as the gun ownership card, by post to the responsible firearms authority.
  • You can also visit the relevant firearms authority in person and submit the application.

If you want to apply for a firearms licence online:

  • You submit the application via the online service of the responsible firearms authority.

You must send your gun ownership card or hunting license by post to the responsible firearms authority.

  • You must have a valid permit for the acquisition and possession of 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 be at least 18 years old.
  • You must prove that it is necessary for you to carry weapons in public. (Need)
  • You must prove your reliability under firearms law.
  • You will need to prove your personal suitability.
  • You must prove that you have sufficient knowledge of weapons and ammunition and how to use them. You can shoot with a firearm and know how to carry a gun safely in public. (Expertise).
  • You must have taken out liability insurance that covers personal injury and property damage in the amount of 1 million euros.

Please also note the detailed notes and information in the "Description" section of this website.

  • Identity card or passport (copy)
  • Weapon possession card or hunting license
  • Proof of a need
    • For example, proof of endangerment of 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

Fee: 110,00 - 270,00 EUR
Payment in advance: No

There is no deadline.

Forms available: Yes

Written form required: Yes

Informal application possible: No

Personal appearance required: No

Lower Saxony Ministry of the Interior and Sports


The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

competent Bodies

Landkreis Emsland - Fachbereich Sicherheit und Ordnung
Address: Ordeniederung 1 , 49716 Meppen
Postal address: Post Office Box 15 62 , 49705 Meppen
Telephone: 05931 44-0
Fax: 05931 44-3621
Transport Connection:
Station Haltestelle Kreishaus
Bus: 993

Building Access
elevator available, wheelchair-accessible


Maris Hackmann
Telephone: 05931 44-2472
F 472
responsible for:
Henriette Schnieders
Telephone: 05931 44-1473
F 473
responsible for:

Data protection information

Landesbeauftragte für den Datenschutz Niedersachsen
Address: Prinzenstraße 5, 30159 Hannover
Telephone: +49 511 12045-00
Fax: +49 511 12045-99

Source: Serviceportal Niedersachsen (Portalverbund des Bundes und der Länder)