The Army is moving my wife and I to Germany and I'm wondering what firearms are legal and those that are not. I already know I cannot take my current firearms without first going through a bunch of paperwork. Once I do, I'm wondering which of my current collection would be legal, and what I'll be able to purchase in Germany? Specifically 1911's, AR's, and shotguns. I'm also wondering about hunting, hunting regulations, and if there are any rules about keeping guns at home versus having to keep them at a police station, etc. If anybody has any info, or any good links, I would appreciate it!
I have a lot of links, but all in German. Sorry!
OK, let's start.
I'm not sure about that Army thing. Is your apartment/house on the area of the barraks? If so, there may be different rules for you and it should be easier for you to own weapons. Perhaps some guys that have been in Germany with the US Army or Airfoce can answer this question.
Germans have to be member of a shooting club for at least 12 month and need to train at least 18 times to get a piece of paper from a shooting confederation that they need a weapon for a disciplin (e.g. "Mr. GI-J wants to shoot IPSC Production class and needs a 9mm Luger handgun."). With this paper you go to the local office of your county and they give you a paper which say that you are allowed to buy any 9mm Luger Handgun you want. Then you go to the gundealer and buy the gun.
You can only buy 2 guns in 6 month. That means max. 4 guns in one year.
Of course the law is "a little" more complicated, but I'm to lacy to explain the complete German gun law here...
Just one example: Sport shooter are only allowed to use mags with a max. capacity of 10 rounds in semi-auto rifles, but you are allowed to buy and use standard 30 round mags. You just put a piece of wood inside to temporaly reduce them 10 rounds...
Handguns like 1911's are no problem.
Shotguns with a pistolgrip are not allowed (you need a butstock)
AR-15 and other semi-auto rifles are allowed, because it is difficult to import semi-auto rifles from the USA after 911 most German shooters have Sabre Defence (Made in the UK) and Oberlandarms (Made in Germany) AR-15's.
There is only one problem with semi-auto rifles:
Former "weapons of war" ("Kriegswaffen) are not allowed. That means a AR-15 with a barrel that is also used in a full-auto version is not allowed. If you have e.g. a DPMS ask them to write you a letter like "We confirm that no important parts of this rifle are used in full-auto versions" so you can show this letter to the customs office.
In Germany you cannot just buy a hunting licence. The course takes about one year and you learn a lot about nature, animal, whatever. I'm not a hunter, but as far as I know there a easier regulations for foreigners. Perhaps someone else can answer this question.
We are allowed to have the weapons at home, but we need a gunsafe to store them. You cannot just leave them under your bed...
Hope that helps a little.
I'm currently in Hanau, and will shortly be in Schweinfurt permanently. The way I understand it from the Army's info on this that it won't take long at all to get the permits. I'm still working on getting off post housing in Schweinfurt. I was curious about German attitudes about different guns. All I really want to get while I'm here is an Anschutz .222 sporter for some hunting and a nice over-and-under shotgun. Let me know if you know of any gunstores in the Schweinfurt, Wurzberg, Frankfurt area.
Thanks a lot!