Private firearms in Germany: least of all in Berlin



Private firearms in Germany: least of all in Berlin

A man is holding a revolver.

Photo: dpa

More than 5.3 million firearms are registered in Germany. © The re are reasons for the comparatively small number in Berlin.

Berlin. In a Germany-wide comparison, Berlin has the fewest registered firearms owned by private owners. At the end of 2019, the authorities recorded 14 pistols and rifles per 1,000 residents. This puts the capital in last place of all cities and districts. This was the result of extensive research by journalism students from the University of Leipzig and the podcast radio For a four-part series on firearms in Germany, they asked 541 weapons authorities because the National Weapons Register did not publish the numbers.

In total, more than 5.3 million firearms are registered in Germany. However, the official statistics are partly contradictory. Many registered weapons belong to hunters and members of rifle clubs. © The re are also other unregistered weapons. Here, too, estimates are of the millions.

Fewer firearms in the cities than in the countryside

At the end of 2018, exactly 50,290 private pistols and rifles were officially known in Berlin, which had around 3.6 million inhabitants at the time, according to the Senate. © The  number is comparatively low for several reasons: In almost all cities, significantly fewer people have guns than in rural areas, where more hunters and hobby shooters live. ©

 The re are fewer weapons in East Germany because they were less allowed in the GDR. And in old West Berlin, too, private gun ownership was largely prohibited by the Allies.

According to the query, there are very few firearms in Thuringia in the Saale-Orla district (16 weapons / 1000 inhabitants) and in Günzburg in Bavaria (17/1000). This is followed by Schwerin, Rostock, Leipzig and Frankfurt am Main. Most of the registered weapons per capita (190/1000) are registered in the Lüchow-Dannenberg district in Lower Saxony. ©

 The  district of Südwestpfalz in Rhineland-Palatinate (186/1000) and Neustadt ad Aisch – Bad Windsheim in Bavaria (178) follow closely behind.

To buy a gun, you need a gun ownership card, which is mainly issued to hunters and shooters. However, they are not yet allowed to carry the weapon in public. A gun license is required for this – and it is very rarely issued. ©

 The n there is the so-called small gun license. You can use it to carry alarm pistols and gas pistols in public.

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