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Q1. I am coming to Germany for duty with the U.S. Forces and would like to bring several of my firearms with me. What must I do to legally bring them with me?

Q2. I previously was stationed in Germany and had my Firearms registered with the German Authorities, can I get permission to bring these Firearms back?

Q3. How do I bring my Firearms back to Germany when I have completed the German requirements?

Q4. Where can I find information on how to do this?

Q5. Can I buy Firearms while in Germany?

Q6. What are the requirements to own Firearms in Germany?

Q7. Why do soldiers and civilians need a statement of reliability and an FBI background check not more than 12 months old for every Firearms purchase?

Q8. How do you establish need for the Firearms (s) you wish to bring to Germany, or to purchase while you are here.

Q9. Do service members have to personally come to Sembach to register Firearms?

Q10. Can I borrow a firearm from someone else to use until I get my own?

Q11. Once I have purchased a firearm, can I keep it at my residence?

Q12. How do I send my firearms to the U.S. upon my return?

Q13. How do I clear my firearms for return to the U.S.?

Q14. Why do all Firearms Registrations (WBK) and European Firearms Pass's have to be sent to Cologne? That means an individual’s proof of registration for other Firearms listed on the WBK are not in his/her possession.

Q15. Why do Soldiers and Civilians need a statement of reliability and background checks not more than 12 months old for every Firearm purchased? If they already have Firearms in their possession, it makes no sense to get another statement.

Q16. Why does it usually take several months or more for Cologne to respond on registration transactions?

Q17. Why do senior personnel who have been long term Hunters or Sport Shooters need an O-5 Commander to sign their application paperwork for purchase of a firearm?

Q18. Whose responsibility is it to submit an Annual Background Check?

Q19. The current version (20 July 2006) of AER 190-6 is difficult to understand. Some topics are scattered over other areas of the regulation. Will this situation be corrected?

Q20. Why can’t the procedures in AER 190-6 be amended to make it easier for U.S. personnel to buy a Firearm?

Q21. What are the legal storage requirements for POF’s in Germany?

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A1. It is prohibited to bring firearms into the Federal Republic of Germany until they are properly registered with U.S. Forces and German authorities. This cannot be done prior to being stationed here and completing the German Firearms requirements.

A2a. Firearms that were previously registered on a Firearms registration card (WBK) can be brought back if the German Federal Administration Office (BVA) reissues the WBK. This requires the owner to obtain liability insurance coverage for firearms usage and an importation permit (Verbringungserlaubnis) from the BVA.

A2b. Once this is completed, and you are Stationed/Residing in Germany, it is then possible to bring your firearms.

A3a. Pistols/Revolvers may be brought either by hand carry, household goods shipment or authorized transfer from State Side firearms dealer to German firearms dealer.

A3b. Long guns, i.e. Rifles and Shotguns may be brought by USPS/APO, but first must be authorized by the US Postal Mailability Office nearest your State Side location.

A4. AER 190-6 (available at the Regulations link on this website) or call the USAREUR Registry of Motor Vehicles, Firearms Registration Office at DSN: 314-542-2050/2051 or CIV: 49-(0)611-143-542-2050/2051.

A5a. Yes, but only after meeting all requirements for Firearms ownership below.

A5b. To obtain an adult German Hunting License you must be at least 18 years of age. Hunters may purchase handguns and rifles without caliber restrictions.

A5c. Persons under 18 years of age may not purchase Firearms, nor be in possession of Firearms or hunting with Firearms.

A5d. To obtain a Sport Shooters license/permit you must be at least 18 years of age. In addition to the commander's reliability statement (AE Form 190-6H(a)), Sport shooters who are under 25 years of age must obtain a written reliability statement from a medical doctor before they may buy and possess firearms.

A5e. Persons over 25 years of age with a Sport Shooters license/permit may possess Firearms with caliber .22 to 9.3mm.

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A6. German law requires persons who want to own Firearms to be reliable, have a need to own Firearms, have the knowledge to own Firearms and pass the appropriates tests and certifications to own Firearms.

A7a. By agreement with the German Government the application process is the same for American Members of the Force as it is for local National personnel in Germany -below.

A7b. To begin the licensing process you must submit and pass an FBI background check similar to when you want to purchase a firearm in the United States.

A7c. Once completed and you have a favorable return, you must request a Commander's Statement of Reliability from the first O-5 Commander in your chain of command which satisfies the reliability requirement to own Firearms in Germany.

A7d. To obtain the FBI Background Check and the Commander’s Statement of Reliability Forms: go to:

A8a. This can be done in two ways: Obtain a German Hunting License (Jagdschein) by attending and passing a local U.S. Forces Rod and Gun Club sponsored German Hunting Course, or obtain a Sport Shooter's Permit (Waffenbesitzkarte) (WBK).

A8b. The Jagdschein establishes need for rifles and shotguns and up to two pistols. The sport shooter’s permit requires a Certificate of Need for a specific Firearm; at least 18 documented shooting sessions within a one-year period at an authorized American or German Shooting Club; and passing a written examination administered by HFSS Representatives. If you wish, you may complete requirements for both. Once one or both of these requirements are met, you are ready to begin processing your application.

A9a. No. There has never been a requirement to come to Sembach to register Firearms. , You may go to a local USAREUR Motor Vehicle, Field Registration Office where registry personnel will check your application for completeness and forward your packet for further processing.
A9b. AER 190-6 gives detailed instructions on required forms and application procedures. You may also send your packet by regular mail to:
Our Military address is:

Registry of Motor Vehicles

Attn: Firearms Section
Unit 29230
APO AE 09136-9230

Our German address is:

HQ,USAREUR Registry of Motor Vehicles
Attn: Customer Service Postfach 1263
67673 Enkenbach-Alsenborn

HQ,USAREUR Registry of Motor Vehicles
Attn: Waffen Amt Heuberg 216 D-67681 Sembach

Or e-mail to:

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A10a. This is strictly forbidden in Germany except as stated below:

A10b. You may go to a U.S. Forces Rod & Gun Club and utilize a rental Firearm while on the premises, but you cannot leave the Club area with a Firearm.

A10c. In addition, licensed hunters in Germany may lend their rifles/shotguns (long guns) to other licensed hunters, but not to a person with only a Sport Shooter's License/Permit.

A10d. Also, hunters may not lend any revolver/pistol to another hunter.

A10e. There is only one exception authorized by the German Firearm Law: A Sport Shooter or Hunter may borrow a revolver/pistol from another Hunter or Sport Shooter, or take possession of a pistol/revolver from an authorized firearms dealer for a period of not more than two weeks.

A10f. The borrower must have written permission to buy a Firearm of the type and caliber to be borrowed annotated on their WBK from the Bundesverwaltungsamt officials at Cologne for the purpose of trying the Firearm with the intention of purchase. If no transaction to purchase has been accomplished at the end of the two-week period, the firearm must be returned to the rightful owner.

A11a. All Firearms registrations/renewals are forwarded to the unit commander. Depending upon where your residence is located, i.e., on or off a military installation, your commander may allow you to retain your firearm at your quarters or require you to place it in the unit arms room.

A11b. This also applies to civilian personnel residing in government housing. In situations where issues come to light after purchase of a firearm, the commander may order your firearms placed in a government Firearm storage facility or Rod and Gun Club until the issues are resolved.

A12a. If you brought your firearms from the U.S. and have written documentation verifying this, you may return them without permission from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Imports Branch (ATF).

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A12b. This may be done in several different ways depending on the type of firearm.

A12c. Handguns may be returned by government Household Goods Shipment, Hand Carried with permission of the Airline you are using, or by an authorized German Firearms Dealer to an authorized U.S. Firearms dealer.

A12d. You may not mail handguns using U.S. or German Postal service.

A12e. Long guns may be sent by any of the aforementioned methods to include the U.S. postal service via APO to your home address.

A12f. If your Firearms were purchased while in Germany, you must get permission to import them into the U.S. from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Imports Branch.

A12g. This is accomplished by downloading ATF Form 6-Part 2 (5330.3b) Revised August 2011 for military personnel or ATF Form 6 – Part 1 (5330.3a Revised August 2011 for U.S. Government Civilian Employees.

A12h. Again, the return of firearms is only authorized in conjunction with a PCS move. Long guns may be returned to an authorized repair facility without ATF approval using APO mail services or an authorized German Firearms Dealer.

A12i. Handguns must be shipped by authorized firearms dealer only. Firearms must be returned from the repair facility to the sender when repairs are completed.

A13a. If you are required to obtain ATF permission for return of your firearms you should submit your applications at least 6 months prior to PCS. The approval documents are only valid for a one-year period and could take up to 6 months for a response.

A13b. Once you have received permission to bring your Firearm (s) to the U.S. you can bring your WBK(s) and European Firearms Passes (EWPs), and a copy of your PCS Orders, to your local Motor Vehicle Field Registration office or the USAREUR Registry of Motor Vehicles for deregistration processing.

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A14a. The German Firearms law requires that all diplomatic and foreign military forces are registered and processed by the German Federal Administration office (BVA) in Cologne.

A14b. By agreement with the BVA Cologne Firearms officials, the Firearms registration specialist at the USAREUR Registry of Motor Vehicles may issue the individual a copy of the WBK to serve as proof of valid registration until the original is returned from Cologne.

A15a. The U.S. Forces agreed to have an FBI background check completed that was not older than 6 months for the initial application and not older than 12 months for subsequent registrations of Firearms or renewals of hunting licenses.

A15b. If you purchase a Firearm in the US from a dealer, it doesn't matter when you purchased your last Firearm – you are required to have a background check (NCIC) each and every time you purchase a Firearm.

A16a. This is due in part to the lag time between the Firearms owner paying the registration fee(s) and the bank notification through government channels to the Firearms Registration Office.

A16b. This has been remedied by having the Firearm purchaser send a copy of their payment receipt directly to the USAREUR Registry of Motor Vehicles, Firearm Section, which is immediately sent to Cologne.

A17a. The U.S. Forces agreed to a commander’s statement of reliability, request for a background Check and an application to purchase a firearm for all individuals wanting to register a Firearm. Individuals cannot certify their own reliability

A17b. It was also agreed upon that the first commander/supervisor in grade of 05, or civilian equivalent in the Soldier/civilian’s Chain of Command must verify the FBI check and the records before signing the statement of reliability Forms.

A17c. The US Forces also agreed to notify the German authorities when an individual was no longer eligible to maintain Firearms registrations.

A18a. There is no annual requirement for a background check unless you are renewing your Hunting License and or registering a firearm.

A18b. You must also submit a new Statement of Reliability if your current one is older than 12 months.

A18c. As a Firearm owner, it is your responsibilities under U.S. and German Law to know these requirements.

A19. Yes. Currently AER 190-6 is under review to simplify the regulation to ensure it is written in a less confusing manner. However, there is a certain amount of legal jargon that cannot be changed.

A20. US Forces personnel must adhere to German laws regarding acquisition, possession, and use of Firearms. AR 190-6 procedures ensure all US Forces personnel are in compliance before purchasing a Firearm.

A21a. IAW German law all privately owned firearms must be stored in a category A or B safe.

A21b. Usually these safes are tall enough to accommodate long guns (A) compartment with a smaller (B) compartment located within the main safe structure for hand guns.

A21c. Not all safes are A and/or B qualified. You must look for the markings inside the safe or ask the dealer. USAREUR Registry of Motor Vehicles, Firearms Registration Office has specific information on authorized storage cabinets/safes, which are available at most building supply or major sporting goods dealerships.

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