Information to the new gun laws (WaffG) in Germany
Gun laws (WaffG) in Germany
In the light of recent events we want to give you assistance and background information to the new gun laws.
As you certainly have learned from the press was an alteration to the German Gun Law passed by the parliament on Friday, 22nd, 2008. This alteration will be submitted soon to the Federal Council and probably pass. The law is expected to come in effect on 1st of April 2008.
The exact wording of the law in parts as follows:
It is forbidden to carry:
- Batons and thrusting weapons (beneath this come within swords, daggers, double-edged knives, rapiers, bayonets and others)
- knives with fixed blades with a blade length about 12 cm
- knives with single-hand lockable blade (one-hand pocket knives incl. switchblades) regardless to the blade length.
This paragraph does not apply
1. for use in photographic, film or television pictures or theatrical productions
2. for the transport in a sealed container,
3. for keeping the goods under par 1 No. 2 and 3, unless there is a legitimate interest.
A legitimate interest is particular, when the carrying of the goods is connected with the exercise of profession, the Customs, the sport or when a generally recognized purpose is convenient.
What is the meaning of this draft de facto?
The actual change in the gun laws refers solely to the carrying of weapons with direct access in public.
The acquisition and possession of the affected blades remain perfectly legal.
The knives are not classified as a weapon aware, "since they are also useful implements" (justification in the law) and are often sought-after lifestyle accessories and collectibles.
Furthermore they are not subject to the age requirement “from 18 years”.
It is not the issue of the bill draft to ban generally the carrying - with a similar effect as for a total ban. The “carrying” of knives as mentioned in the text specifically says a "carrying with direct access" on the body. When the weapons are stored in a container, such as a bag or in a car glove compartment, they do not apply the new regulations.
It is allowed to wear all unconcerned knives without restriction:
- fixed blade knives up to 12 cm blade
- all folding knives without locking
- all folding knives, which can not be open one-handed.
The amendment, however, takes not place anywhere where knives are used for "legal reasons" or even just run. We are talking about the so-called socially-adequate use of knives, whether for work or even in pursuit of hobbies or leisure, as the case is for example by hikers, scouts, campers, anglers, hunters, motorcyclists, cyclists, Knife collectors etc.. Even the normal, private using and the associated with it, carrying at a picnic or even to vespers in a beer garden will also be possible in the future without restriction.
In their own words, for the initiators of the amendment it is only about to have a handle against risk groups for an intervention and also for a confiscation if necessary.
Even in this case it will remain at a sheer infraction and not a statutory offense in no case.
The new law regulation is not a prohibition of the abovementioned knives and even the carrying is basically allowed. Namely when it is on business, sporting or other legitimate reasons, such as occurs during leisure time. This is usually the case in general