What are the current federal gun laws

Weapons Act changed

With today's announcement in the Federal Law Gazette, parts of the amended Weapons Act will come into force tomorrow. Then important regulations apply to hunters regarding silencers, night vision technology in connection with weapons, inquiries with the Office for the Protection of the Constitution and weapon prohibition zones. Most of the changes will not take effect until September 1, 2020. Hunters must now observe transition and reporting deadlines. For example, existing possession of larger magazines must be reported to the weapons authorities by September 1, 2021 so that the ban does not apply. In future, the permitted magazine limits will be ten rounds for long guns and 20 rounds for handguns.



The most important changes at a glance:

  • In the future, hunters will be able to purchase silencers for long guns only with a hunting license and without prior registration. Hunters must report the purchase of a silencer to the authorities within two weeks - as is usual with the purchase of long guns. The authority then enters this in the gun ownership card. Silencers may only be used with long guns approved for hunting for ammunition with center fire. This only applies to hunting and hunting practice shooting.
  • When checking the reliability, a query is also carried out with the Office for the Protection of the Constitution.
  • In particularly justified cases, the weapons authority may order a personal appearance.
  • New regulation of the notification requirements for the acquisition and surrender of weapons.
  • The group of “essential parts” requiring a permit is being expanded.
  • Magazines for more than 20 rounds (handguns) and more than ten rounds (long guns) are prohibited.
  • In future, hunters will be able to use night vision technology (attachments and attachments) in conjunction with the weapon. The hunting law prohibitions remain in place. So far there are only exceptions to this in Baden-Württemberg, Brandenburg and Saxony. Infrared brighteners are still banned.
  • The federal states and municipalities can increasingly designate so-called “weapon prohibition zones”. However, there are exceptions for hunters.

More detailed information on the most important changes for hunters can be found here.