Self defense in Germany

This is a discussion on Self defense in Germany within the Home (And Away From Home) Defense Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Hi all, I have just accepted a job in Wiesbaden, Germany with the Department of Defense. I can't wait to go. As I look into ...

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    Member Array Labhunter's Avatar
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    Self defense in Germany

    Hi all,

    I have just accepted a job in Wiesbaden, Germany with the Department of Defense. I can't wait to go. As I look into my self-defense options, I am not finding a lot of good things other than pepper spray which can be carried to protect against animals only. Pocket knives are allowed but not if they can be opened with one hand. From what I have read so far, bringing any firearms with me is a nightmare of red tape. Has anyone else dealt with this problem before? Thanks in advance.

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    VIP Member Array SIGguy229's Avatar
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    Yes. I just PCS'd here back in April. I decided to leave my guns at home...with family. I do carry a pocketknife...and have quick access to some bad language, which is about all you're allowed to have here (haven't heard about the "one hand prohibited" rule). Just to become a member of a gun club here and have access to firearms requires a 6 month (?) course which costs something to the tune of $1500-$2000.
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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    From what I recently heard, Swiss Army now makes a one handed opener that can be bought there and they are pretty innocuous.

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    A good heavy hardwood walking stick is a nice thing to have with you.
    You know...for that leg that's been bothering you quite a bit lately.

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    I found the "one handed opener" from other internet searches so I can only claim it is as accurate as anything else on the internet. But I did find it several times and found that Spyderco makes a knife specifically for Denmark that has the spyderhole filled in. I thought about a walking stick but I don't know how to use them beyond turning them into a whacking stick. We also want to do plenty of traveling and I think it would wear me out trying to figure out what was legal and illegal in every country we go to. Right now, I'm thinking pepper spray will be as good as it gets.

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    I don't know what Germany is like now but I was stationed in Baumholder back in the early 1980's. While there I purchased a CZ75B pistol from the local base PX sporting goods. I brought it home with no problems at all. I did not take a gun with me to Germany though.

    Again, I do not know what life in Germany is like now but back then I felt as safe as I have ever felt anywhere. I was young though, bullet proof, and never felt the need to carry a weapon with me anywhere.
    “I am consistently on record and will continue to be on record as opposing concealed carry.”
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    VIP Member Array SIGguy229's Avatar
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    Firearms in Germany is a HUGE Pain _______ Believe me, if I could, I would bring mine here...or pick up some new ones. Without ranting, I really cannot express my displeasure of not being able to enjoy my hobby.

    But hey...I'll be home in 2.5 years...
    Magazine <> clip - know the difference

    martyr is a fancy name for crappy fighter
    You have never lived until you have almost died. For those that have fought for it, life has a special flavor the protected will never know

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    Distinguished Member Array Tally XD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIGguy229 View Post
    Firearms in Germany is a HUGE Pain _______ Believe me, if I could, I would bring mine here...or pick up some new ones. Without ranting, I really cannot express my displeasure of not being able to enjoy my hobby.

    But hey...I'll be home in 2.5 years...
    That wasn't my experience when I was there. Has it changed or is this to do with your particular area or unit? I bought a firearm easily, had a local range available and was able to go shoot pretty much anytime I wanted.
    “I am consistently on record and will continue to be on record as opposing concealed carry.”
    - Barack Obama Chicago Tribune, April 27, 2004

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    Distinguished Member Array Jason Storm's Avatar
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    Going to ports of call, as I am in the Navy, I have always carried my Surefire 6P Defender with me as my bare minimum for self-defense. Other than that, I have never carried any other off-duty personal defense weapon overseas. My tactical folding knife remained on the ship and my firearms remained at home, locked up until I return.

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    http://www.canemasters.com

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    weapons in the European country is a pain in the six unless uncle sam blesses you to carry one. My main self defense while traveling in Europe was to get in good shape and run away from trouble ASAP. i know it is a big country; however, maybe you can hook up with someone on this outfit: lahner tactical. they seem to do a lot of empty hand and blade training. good luck.
    "embrace the suck" - our warriors in the sandbox... it implies that do the best you can in impossible conditions.
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    New Member Array gelebify's Avatar
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    Hello forum-members,

    at first i want to say sorry for returning this thread from it's grave, but as it pops out of google on top if you are searching for self-defence options in germany, i as a german myself might deliver some usefull advice for people who are concerned about this topic due to a trip to my country. As from an legitimately american point of view the rest of the world has more strict gun and self-defence laws i want to debunk some myths.

    At the beginning some words regarding german gun laws about the posession of a firearm: if you bring time an money you can get quiet close to american gun laws excluding automatic weapons and owning an unlimited amount of weapons. Which means you can actually obtain half-automatic assault rifles with 100-round magazines and 50 cal sniper rifles, if you can proove the necessity. Assault rifles like the civil version of the H&K 416 oder M4 are available for hunters and sport shooters, 100 round magazines can be obtained by everyone, because they are not considered to be restricted gun parts like for example a barrel. On the other hand a hunter would not be able to obtain a 50 cal rifle as there is no deer wich would require such a caliber; a longe range sports shooter otherwise could buy such a weapon. There is furthermore no restriction on the amount of ammunition you desire to possess. Concealed carry is only available for threatened persons (f.e. jewelers and victims of crimes with the possibility of repeat) and security staff (bodyguards, watchmen). These permissions are hard to obtain.

    Surprisingly the german self defence laws are quiet extensive. At the extrem end for example if someone is running away with your rolex-watch and there is no other option available (empty street in the night) you are allowed to shoot him in the back even if it's deadly (actually we had this case recently and the shooter was acquitted from manslaughter). When your health is in danger your action has to be appropiate (as also for property: shooting someone for an apple would not be justified, but a rolex or even several hundred dollars would fit). So shooting someone in the head who attacks you with his fists would not work, but if someone attacks you with a knife and you have no time for warning shots or shots to his legs, killing him is perfectly legal.

    A very important thing although is if you overreact in fear of death. This means if a guy attacks you with his fists and you can describe plausible that you thought he would kill you (he was so strong and aggressive or you thougt he had a knife in his hand), you can get away with shooting him. What i basically want to point out: Whenever i would have killed someone in selfdefence with my fists, a knife or a gun i would state that "I was in total fear for death, i aimed (knife/gun) for his arm/shoulder and i sadly hit him lethal". You will get away with it as long as you are not stupid or inconsistant in your testimoney. And from all i experienced from dangerous situations, this would not even be made up, it's just the way you feel if you get in such situations without preperation. A guy who was retruning home at night was heavily attacked with thrown stones by some drunk guys. He shot in the dark night with an illegal gun and killed one. He got away. Just last year a hells angels leaders' house was about to be raided by police without them telling they were police. He thought it was a rival gang, he shot through the closed door, killing one police officer. He got away. As sad as this is, it shows how fundamental german selfdefence laws are.

    It is not important if you own that weapon illegally, this will be the matter in a different court-process. If you have no other options to save your live you can kill someone with a RPG, it will not affect the manslaughter case. And even with that, heavy violating gun laws will not bring you into jail the first time. Finaly, if you not provoked the attack you are not required to retreat even if it would be easy, the ruling is: justice does not have to retreat from unjustice. In most cases there will not be a court hearing as the state attorney will close the case if he has no doubts you were the good guy defending your health. Another strong example of recent history: a guy was sitting in his car, he was a skinhead (who have no easy time in german jurisdiction). Some anarchits ran towards his car with battons. He could have easily turn right and evade the attack, but he chose to turn left and run them over, leaving them behind heavily injured. Despite media outrage, he got away.

    This is a very basic overview but it is the most you have to know. And even the most germans don't now this.

    So then some words to the weapons of choice: i carry "illegally" a folding knife as it is only a minor offence like wrong parking with low fees. Folding knives are allowed if you are on a recreational trip or if you are going fishing for example. This law was only passed to have something in the hand against the typical offender (young beatniks) to take away their knives. I don't want to carry legal fixed blades so i take this option because first it will not be put to my disadvantage in case of selfdefence and second no normal citizen will ever be searched by police. This is no suggestion, this is just how i do it

    If you want to get the best and most practical option besides the hardly to achieve concealed carry permission, you have to go for gas guns. Everybody over the age of 18 can obtain them and to carry them concealed in public you only have to obtain the "small permit" which will granted to everyone with residence and no criminal history, independet of your nationality. As long as you have a adress you will get the permit.

    These gas guns have a long history in germany through the jurisdiction. They are optically not to differ from real guns and have very powerfull ammunition with flash and pepper which will knock out an attacker up to 10 feet. Even blank firing cartridges will do their job.

    From a distance under 3 feet they have the chance to blind the target permanently and once touching the head you must consider them to be deadly. If you should prefer a gas gun i would advice you to go for 9mm P.A.K (Pistols) or 9mm R (Revolvers). The revolvers have more power and are slightly louder and contain slightly more gas than you would expect it even from 9mm real ammo. These loads are also used in the devices which kill cattle in the slaughterhouse. Don't go for the cheap stuff, buy the good stuff (Röhm is of very high quality). Above 80€ is a line i would draw. They are still much cheaper than real guns.

    So this is my little "lesson" for everyone who wants not to be defenceless in germany. Keep in mind that germany is a very safe country and it would probably make more sense to wear a helmet for the possibility of falling to the ground. Usually no criminal will engage you with a real gun. The whole german police forces fire less than 100 shots a year and kill normally less than 10 people out of a population of 80 million.

    But if you are going to drive the Berlin subway at night i would suggest wearing a defencive option as you always might be a victim by chance. I don't want to sound racist, but we had a lot of cases where young macho-boys from arab/turkish decent have engaged causeless in groups and they don't stop if you are down, leaving you probably behind with life-long injuries. But they are cowards; if you behave confident and draw or show a knife/gun on them you can be pretty sure they will run away, because they are in search for weak victims and don't want to risk a scar in their pretty faces.

    I hope i could clear things up for you and as i mentioned you will probably not need the above information at all, as germany is one of the better european countries to travel through. If you are visting my country i wish you a very nice and safe stay.

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    VIP Member Array SIGguy229's Avatar
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    Thanks for you post! One thing you should include, though....and correct me if I am wrong, but to keep firearms in your home, you have to have a German government approved safe and are subject to random "inspections" by the police at any time...without warrant or probable cause.

    In terms of having the money...it's grossly cost prohibitive to go through a six-month course, at a cost of approx $2000, plus licensure fees...for something that will only be good for 3 years....for something that costs me nothing at home. I love Germany and the beer...and the travel around Europe, but I miss the USA and our God-given right to bear arms...
    Magazine <> clip - know the difference

    martyr is a fancy name for crappy fighter
    You have never lived until you have almost died. For those that have fought for it, life has a special flavor the protected will never know

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    New Member Array gelebify's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIGguy229 View Post
    One thing you should include, though....and correct me if I am wrong, but to keep firearms in your home, you have to have a German government approved safe
    Absolutely correct. But theoretically, if only weapon permit holders are living in your house and you are not sleeping, you could carry them with you or leave them at your desk. No one without a permit is allowed to have access to your guns.

    Quote Originally Posted by SIGguy229 View Post
    and are subject to random "inspections" by the police at any time...without warrant or probable cause.
    Not the police but civil servants of your local gun authority and only during daylight. They will not open the door violently if you are not there. In theory they could come any time, every several days. But in the real world i never heared of any single case where they did not just came some time after you achieved your permit and look if evereything is okay and than they did not show up for decades. Probably if you only own a handgun-safe and then you buy a rifle, they could ring again to see if the rifle safe is also fitting the law.

    Quote Originally Posted by SIGguy229 View Post
    In terms of having the money...it's grossly cost prohibitive to go through a six-month course, at a cost of approx $2000, plus licensure fees...for something that will only be good for 3 years....for something that costs me nothing at home.
    Not exactly. Sporting shooters have to be a shooting club member for 1 year to obtain own guns, but can shoot club-guns from the first day on. This process comes without notable costs except club fees and some fees for the exam (below 100€).

    Hunters have to do a very big exam. In some states you can prepare yourself and it will also cost very few money. But in others there is a hunting school required. In fact most hunters go to hunting school due to a very hard test. After this test you know everything about ballistics, weapons, animals, hygiene and enviromental stuff. And with "everything" i actually mean quiet a lot. They call it the "green college degree". But you can obtain the knowledge in two week hardcore courses which in fact can cost up to 3000 Dollars.

    The hunters license is the best and most comfortable way to possess weapons, because after that the government is pretty much off your back. You only have to pay 100€ every 3 years to keep the permit and even without this they tend to let you keep your weapons because you might go hunting again 5 years later. Also you are allowed to buy rifles without asking in before like sport shooters (when they go above their contingent), who can additionally be forced to sell their guns to license holders if they leave the gun club.

    So overall, if you just want to own guns without much trouble and for the rest of your life, obtaining a hunting license is the best way.

    Quote Originally Posted by SIGguy229 View Post
    I love Germany and the beer...and the travel around Europe, but I miss the USA and our God-given right to bear arms...
    True words, but when you have fulfilled all requirements, owning guns in germany is pretty neat.

    Just imagine the hard timee you will have in the U.S. during WROL and zombie apocalypse with nearly everybody owning guns, whilst a german hunter then can easily overtake whole districts.
    tessa and SIGguy229 like this.

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