One method of self-protection are the alarm guns, also known as gas pistols – however, these cannot be acquired and used without a gun license. For a layman, these cannot be distinguished from a real pistol at first glance and can therefore easily lead to confusion.

The most important in 30 seconds

  • You can buy a gas pistol as soon as you are 18 years old
  • To carry the gun you need a small firearms license, you must always have it with you
  • A gas gun is an effective way of self-defense.
  • You must follow certain rules when transporting, storing and carrying the gun.

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Gas pistol legal? only with PTB seal

ptb zeichen
PTB seal for alarm guns

Your scare gun must also have a PTB mark, otherwise they are subject to licensing like real guns and require an entry in the gun ownership card. It is also important to know that gas guns may be carried in public under certain circumstances, but may not be fired – except in the case of self-defense. Violation can be very expensive.

Acquiring the alarm pistol is legal once you are 18 years old. There are no further limits. You do not need a gun license or anything else to buy it.

It is therefore imperative that you pay attention to this seal. Read best the FAQ of the police Saxony through

Small firearms license: Prerequisite for carrying

With the reform of the weapons law after the rampage at the school in Erfurt, a so-called “small firearms license” was introduced, which entitles the holder to carry gas, irritant and alarm firearms in public. It is therefore a mandatory requirement for a number of self-defense weapons.

  • You can apply for this license and usually get it, if you are of age and free of criminal record and drugs, expertise in handling, a need and a personal suitability can prove.
  • You absolutely need the small firearms license if you want to carry a gas pistol outside the apartment. Even for carrying in the glove compartment of the car, the small firearms license is required, since the car is not considered “pacified property”.
  • An unauthorized carrying would mean a violation of §42a of the WaffG, which prohibits the carrying of apparent weapons. Save yourself this criminal record with high fine and rather spend a double-digit amount for the gas pistol weapon license, if you do not want to do without it.
  • At public events there is a general ban on carrying dangerous objects according to §42 WaffG. So they will not let you into a concert hall with alarm guns.

Transport and storage

  • A weapon must be stored in such a way that neither unauthorized persons nor children can access the weapon . There are very specific requirements for this, which are described in § 36 WaffG in conjunction with §§ 13, 14 AWaffV. §§ 13, 14 AWaffV are regulated. It is best to inform yourself about this before purchasing.
  • A person over the age of 18(without a firearms license) may only transport a firearm in a locked container. Ammunition and weapon must be transported in separate containers. It is not the same as “carrying” a weapon
  • Firearmsin the car: It is generally allowed for holders of a small firearms license to carry the firearm in the car. However, keep in mind that you should not get into a public event (motorcade of a demonstration, etc.), here problems are likely

Firing gas pistols

Firing signal weapons is not allowed in public, you are only allowed to fire on a private property. Also on New Year’s Eve it is not allowed to fire pyrotechnics in public

The sport shooting club is a remaining possibility to fire your firearm. You may also use it in self-defense.

In the video: Weapons test & legal situation

If you would like to watch a few more helpful videos on the topic of alarm guns on YouTube, you will find them here. Learn more about the legal situation, how the weapons look in use and what else you need to consider:


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Comparison and test: which is the best gun for defense?

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Legal situation on the alarm gun: what is allowed, what is not?

Gas pistol is effective self-defense weapon

Gas guns give the owner a higher self-confidence, but this is also justified, because they are

The deterrent effect of a pistol

The first big advantage of the alarm guns is that these weapons can protect you just by their presence, by your sight scaring an attacker. Many people get scared when they catch sight of a gun, especially if the perpetrator didn’t expect any resistance. Even with a shotgun blast, many are scared off by the bang.

Use does not require force

The great advantage of a scare gun is that you don ‘t need any physical prerequisites to be able to use it. The use does not require much strength, nor special skill. The gun itself usually weighs between 500 and 1000 grams plus cartridges, which is about as much as a bag of sugar. It is therefore an effective method of protection, especially for the infirm.

Effective even against several opponents

The effectiveness of the defense can hardly be questioned. The weapon can be used against anyone and achieves good effects even against physically superior people. Even when attacked by a group of perpetrators, you may be able to make an impression. Since the pistol magazine usually holds 7 to 15 rounds, it is not over after the first perpetrator. With the revolver, there are usually only 5 or 6 rounds due to the design.

Types of blank ammunition: CS gas & Co.

As explained above, the cartridge of the signal gun ignites like a real gun. However, there are 3 different types of ammunition here:

Blank cartridges

Bang cartridges have no effect, but only bang, so they are not suitable for self-defense. Of course, the barrel should protrude into the air and should not be aimed at people, as residues of the cartridge may be fired.

Cartridges with CS gas

CS gas is an irritant gas and has an irritating effect on eyes and mucous membranes. The irritant gas ammunition causes painful irritation of the eyes and other open areas, a burning sensation in the mouth and nasal cavity, and severe irritation of the respiratory tract, which is usually followed by a severe coughing fit. When firing, you must also be careful not to get hit yourself (not in closed rooms or in headwinds)

Pepper cartridges

Pepper cartridges contain the same active ingredient as a pepper spray and burn on mucous membranes and normal skin. If your cartridges contain pepper, this active ingredient acts specifically on the parts of the body where it can penetrate best, i.e. mainly against mucous membranes and open wounds, but in the case of pepper cartridges also on the skin or face.

Pyro ammunition

Keep in mind, if you want to buy a gas gun, that some models of alarm guns can also fire pyrotechnic ammunition. However, because this is more suitable for a 50th birthday than for self-defense and would cause the most severe burns against a human being in an emergency, we will not go into this in more detail here. For this purpose, a launching cup, also called an auxiliary barrel, is screwed into the muzzle and the projectiles are fired with it

In principle, it doesn’t matter which caliber you use. Very often 9mm calibers are used

Principle of operation of blank ammunition

The basic principle of operation of the scare guns is similar to that of a real pistol. You insert a magazine with cartridges, and when you pull the trigger, a hammer hits the cartridge, causing the primer to explode.


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Comparison of ammunition: alarm shot (bang), gas weapon ammunition (chlorobenzylidenemalodinitrile); pepper (nonivamide)

Unlike a live pistol, however, the projectile does not consist of the actual cartridge, but of a gas or gas mixture that emerges from the cartridge. The range varies depending on the model, but the gas pistol usually has an effect between 2 and 6 meters.

In the case of pistols, the pressure build-up in the barrel ensures that the next cartridge is inserted; in the case of a revolver, the drum continues to rotate when the trigger is released and the weapon is automatically ready to fire again.

Dangers during use

When using gas pistols there is danger for the attacker, fellow men, but yourself. We would like to list the main ones below.

Firing in an enclosed space

  • First, since you are dealing with a gas weapon, it is important to consider the environment. When used in an enclosed space, for example, the gas gun may have an effect that will cause you to overshoot the mark a bit. Depending on the size, height and nature of the room, the gas can affect many people present and even hit you yourself.
  • In a smaller room with, for example, 3 by 3 meters, firing a scare gun would be fatal for all those present. In this case it depends on whose body reacts less sensitive to the irritant and is ready for action first, but you should rather not take this risk and if possible take flight or turn away quickly.

Beware of the wind direction

  • The next danger comes from the air. If you are outdoors, you should pay attention to the wind direction before pulling the trigger. A strong headwind, even a sudden gust of wind, can cause you to get the same charge or even take more damage than your attacker.
  • The same applies to a shot from too short a distance, if the gases cannot escape unhindered, but are accumulated in front of the barrel. You can protect yourself from this danger by taking a deep breath before firing, covering your mouth and nose with your free hand when pulling the trigger, and then immediately taking a few steps away. You won’t be able to avoid the watering eyes, but you might be able to avoid the coughing fit.

Injury to fellow man & attacker

  • Another danger, as indicated above, is the injury of your fellow man. The problem with the high pressure of alarm pistols is that it is very directed and pinpoint at short distances. Thus, especially weak parts of the body are at risk, which are sensitive to pressure.
  • You should not take this danger lightly, because even against the upper body the gas pistol can have an effect on a physical basis. This means that if you hit the stomach area, for example, you could cause internal injuries.
  • There are various videos on the Internet that show these forces using objects. In case of a hit to the head or neck, such severe injuries are even very likely and the death of the attacker is not excluded. In case of a shot from a close distance to the face, burns will occur or blindness, deafness, etc. will occur. So really use the gas pistol only as a last resort in self-defense.

FAQ about alarm guns

Below you will find a number of frequently asked questions about alarm guns.

Update: 2023-06-09 / Affiliate Links / Bilder von der Amazon Product Advertising API