In other countries, it is common for every citizen to own a firearm. In Germany, the danger situation and also the legislation is different. But even here you can use a number of self-defense weapons. But which ones are suitable and legal for on the road? And which weapons are suitable for home defense?
We present you weapons for self-defense, which are legal and effective. And introduce you to the most important rules.
Self-defense weapons allowed: Yes, there are some self-defense weapons you can buy on Amazon. Some don’t even require proof of age (pepper spray, for example), but most do require proof of age (18).
Carry & Use Legal: This is where things get complicated. Some you are not allowed to carry (e.g. baton) or only with a small firearms license (e.g. alarm pistol). Others must be carried in a locked container.
Effective weapons: There are effective self-defense weapons. Pepper spray will disable an attacker and give you time to escape. Others you must know how to use to be effective (e.g., a Kubotan).
Home defense: To secure your home, there are alarms, but also a number of weapons that are good against burglars. The rules for gun ownership and use in an emergency are much simpler within your own home or grounds.
For women: For example, when jogging you can carry a shrill alarm, the alarm will drive away many attackers. Furthermore, there are other suitable weapons, which turn off an attacker first, for example, a stun gun.
Self-defense: If you fear for your life, almost “everything is allowed” to defend yourself – the exact explanation can be found below.
Below you will find a comprehensive guide to self-defense weapons.
Safety can no longer be taken for granted today
Not only self-defense weapons for women are in demand. Crimes happen at home in the form of burglaries, violence by the life partner or on the road during a visit to a pub.
33% of all women in Europe experience physical or sexual violence (EU study 2014 – source)
23% of Germans feel rather or very unsafe in public spaces. (Statista 2022 – source)
In 2021, there were 5.05 million crimes, of which about 0.5 million were violent crimes. (Statista 2022 – source)
Weapons for self-defense can help especially physically weaker people. In addition, you should attend a self-defense course or learn a martial art, so you can defend yourself and stay fit.
Self defense weapons list
Here you will find an overview of free self-defense weapons. Not every weapon is suitable for you. Since you have to use some defense weapons in close combat, others can be used from a distance. Within the articles you will get background information about the suitability as well as the acquisition, transport and possession.
When is it permissible to use self-defense weapons?
Weapons are not toys, violence and weapons should never be used. Therefore, weapons must not be used without reason, do not take this lightly, because there are penalties for violation.
Uses force and weapons only in the context of “self-defense” §32 StGB (source). “Self-defense is the defense necessary to avert a present unlawful attack against oneself or another.” Here are a few key passages from the paragraph:
Present attack: You are being attacked (physical attack, no jostling in the club) or the attack is obviously imminent (attacker rushes towards you). If the attacker is on the ground, there is no danger and it is not self-defense.
Your defense is required: you are being attacked and there is a need to defend yourself. Moreover, you must always use the mildest means. If you are two heads taller than the attacker, a blow is sufficient for defense and weapons are not required.
Propriety: You may defend your health and belongings, but if a child steals an apple from you, it would be completely inappropriate to use weapons.
Will to defend: Your guiding motive is defense, you want to defend yourself.
But you see, it is a matter of discretion and depends on the individual case – and there is a risk and that is up to you! Therefore, act proportionately and defend yourself only. Also have a look at this video:
Always use force/weapons only in the context of self-defense!
Which weapons for women, children & seniors?
Which self-defense tools suit you best depends on the situation: Is it about walking home, jogging, at home? Below we try to offer advice:
Basically, all of the weapons shown are suitable for self-defense for women – if you know how to use them. Particularly recommended are: Pepper spray: Because so even physically weaker women can defend themselves.
– Shotgun: Due to a higher range and deterrent effect, you will be able to defend yourself. – Shrill alarm: If you are in an emergency situation, you can quickly draw attention to your situation. – Stun Gun: Buys you time to escape, but must be used in direct contact. – Kubotan: Must be practiced beforehand, but is small, handy and can actually always be taken along.
However, all weapons have a disadvantage: they are not always ready to hand, may need ammunition or can be used against you. Therefore, you should also take a self-defense course.
Self defense weapons for children
The answer is simple: No weapons for children! Because it is too dangerous that the situation will only escalate. Moreover, children may not be able to separate a serious situation from an annoying situation with other children.
The situation is somewhat different when the children are already a little older. Adolescents, however, should first practice a martial art. If there are concrete dangers, these self-defense weapons can be explained, practiced and used if necessary:
– Shrill alarm: this allows teens to call attention to their emergency situation. – Pepper spray: Animal defense spray does not fall under the weapons law and in this sense has no minimum age (irritant gas against people, on the other hand, is only permitted from the age of 14).
However, it is very important to first talk to children and young people about dangerous situations. Determine steps of de-escalation, escape and search for help are the first priority. Emergency numbers should also be known.
Self defense weapons for seniors
For physically weaker people, a weapon should keep the attacker at a distance and provide the opportunity to escape. We therefore recommend:
– Pepper spray: in the context of self-defense, several attackers can be incapacitated and it can be used from a few meters away. – Shrill Alarm: The pocket alarm is intuitive and will put most attackers to flight and alert passersby to your presence. – Defence Umbrella: Can be used as an everyday item and can also be helpful in the event of an attack.
We wouldn’t recommend using knives or blank guns, as the weapon can be used against you and the handling is a bit more complicated.
Weapons for home defense
People want to know that their own four walls and their loved ones in the vicinity are safe.
– Burglary protection: Burglary protection should be the first priority. If weak points such as windows and doors are secured, a burglar will have a hard time. – Alarm systems: attract unwanted attention and make burglars flee. In addition, if an alarm is triggered (depending on the setting), the police will also be notified. – Weapons: Irritant gas works against you when used in confined spaces. It is therefore better to use a slingshot, baton or RAM pistol to drive the burglar away.
Self defense weapons comparison
Which weapons for self-defense are particularly effective and against how many opponents can you defend yourself? We have dared to compare them and try to show how they differ.
Which self-defense weapons are allowed in Germany?
Some, there are legal weapons for defense. However, not all of them are freely available and you can’t necessarily carry them with you:
– Some of them are available only from the age of 18 (e.g. a RAM pistol, alarm pistol). – Some of them can only be carried with a small firearms license (e.g. a blank gun). – Without practice you can’t do anything with some self-defense weapons (e.g. a Kubotan).
How effective are the weapons in use?
It is necessary to distinguish a little between the types of self-defense weapons:
– Ranged weapons: A slingshot, crossbow, RAM pistol can be used to shoot bullets or arrows. If you can hit (can not do without practice), these weapons are sometimes deadly or cause nasty damage (for example, blindness, etc.). – Pepper and irritant gas: Pepper spray, CS gas and alarm pistols spread a spray of gas or a cloud of pepper. This makes breathing difficult, eyes burn – in short for a few minutes you are out of action. – Blinding: With a defensive flashlight, the attacker is blinded from a distance. Ideally, he is then disoriented for a short time and you have time for an escape. – Close combat: If the attacker is within 2 meters of you, close combat weapons are required. These may include: Knife, baton, defensive umbrella, kubotan or a stun gun. How effective they are depends on the hit and whether you know how to use them. Note: Keep in mind that not all weapons can be carried in public.
Quantity: Can you defend against multiple opponents?
In an emergency situation, you are not always exposed to only one opponent. If there are several, the self-defense weapon should also be a help here.
– Magazine size: Pepper spray is good for defense, but also quickly empty. One can is enough for a few short sprays. The magazine of a blank pistol is also exhausted after a short time. – Distance: With a long-range weapon you definitely have an advantage here, because you can defend even over a few meters. If not all attackers are with you yet. – Melee weapons: Here you have mostly no limitation in the magazine size. So a kubotan, baton, etc. can be used as long as your strength allows it. – Concealed weapons: Even with a stun gun, you are actually only safe against an opponent. Because as soon as you have used it, the other attackers become aware of the weapon and evade. – Loud alarm: A loud siren can of course be used against any number of enemies.
Range: How far do the weapons work?
Especially when there are multiple attackers to fend off or a situation is coming to a head, a longer range can offer advantages in defense.
– Ranged weapons: For crossbows, slingshots, throwing objects, RAM guns, the range extends significantly. But the question is, do you know it’s an attacker from 30 meters away? – Medium range: pepper spray and scare guns can also be used at a distance of up to 5 meters. – Blinding at medium distance: Blinding with the lamp is particularly effective up to 3 meters and still effective up to 5 meters (depending on the model). – Prolonged close combat: When it comes to close combat, it is often a matter of centimeters. This is where a baton or self-defense shield can make all the difference. – No advantage: With weapons in your hand you have hardly any range advantage.
Maintenance: How long is the self-defense weapon durable?
Not all self-defense weapons have an unlimited shelf life. Therefore, for some types of weapons, the batteries or the entire weapon should be replaced:
– Batteries: Stun guns, flashlights, and pocket alarms should have their batteries replaced at regular intervals to be on the safe side. Approximately once a year. – Maintenance: For electronic and mechanical devices, such as guns, the parts must be maintained and oiled. – No Maintenance: Of course, no maintenance or care is required for batons, etc. – Replacement: Pepper spray should be replaced entirely after a few years. The propellant can escape, causing the pressure to drop.
Surprise effect: Can you see the gun?
If a weapon is recognizable as such, the opponent might resort to drastic means, moreover, the element of surprise is lost, which can be very important for an escape.
Size: Due to the size of some weapons (baseball bats), hiding is impossible. However, some self-defense tools are not recognized as weapons, like the self-defense umbrella. In hand: most other self-defense weapons are held in the hand and are concealed and not visible until you take them out.
But you should be aware of one thing: If you are attacked, the element of surprise is unfortunately on the attacker’s side anyway. Therefore, this factor is negligible.
Procurement: How easily can you buy self-defense weapons?
In Germany, the vast majority of weapons are easy to buy:
– Without restriction: pepper spray for animal defense is not subject to age restrictions. A baseball bat is also a piece of sports equipment and thus free for everyone to purchase. – With age restriction: the rest of the self-defense weapons can be ordered online and mostly require the age of majority (18 years). But beware: just because you can buy the weapons just like that, you are allowed to carry them in public or store them at home just like that.
There are a few things to keep in mind here, such as storing firearms and ammunition separately or that a small firearms license is required to carry alarm guns.
Cost: How expensive are weapons for self-defense?
Prices vary from model to model, but on average will cost about the following for a high-quality model.
– Up to 20 euros: Can be purchased Kubotan, pepper spray, pocket alarm, slingshot and smaller other weapons. – Up to 60 euros: Here you can get a self-defense flashlight or a stun gun – Up to 150 Euro: Here you can purchase a scare gun, crossbow, RAM gun or an umbrella for defense.
Of course, prices vary depending on the manufacturer.
Best weapons for self defense: At home & on the road
In the case of self-defense weapons, it is not possible to make such a clear statement, because self-defense weapons cannot be used by everyone to the same extent. In addition, the effectiveness differs according to the environment and distance of use. That is, there are suitable weapons depending on the target group:
Defense weapons for on the road
Pepper spray + pocket alarm
A pepper spray and a pocket alarm are a useful addition to a jacket pocket or a woman’s handbag.
The advantages are obvious: they are effective in an emergency, inexpensive to purchase, and can provide the means of escape when used, and that must be the goal.
With practice: Kubotan + stun gun
Both weapons require practice. If you can not handle them, or do not hit the right part of the body with the stun gun, then the weapons are not effective
In addition, you have to get close to the attacker with both weapons. This is always dangerous and should be one of the last options!
Both self-defense weapons extend the range considerably. This is worth its weight in gold during a confrontation.
However, the weapons are only effective if the person also has enough strength.
Otherwise, in our opinion, the risk of escalation increases, which in the end means more damage to the victim.
With a small firearms license: alarm gun
A scare gun is effective no question. However, it is also expensive.
Prerequisite for carrying the weapon is the small firearms license – and never at public events. Therefore, it is often ruled out.
Self-defense weapons at home
When it comes to home defense, you should proceed step by step:
It is crucial that you secure the weak points of your home appropriately. First and foremost, these are doors, windows and locks. This is the most important requirement, because if no one can get in, there is no need for defense.
In the next step, you can install an alarm system for the house. This way, unauthorized intrusion will be noticed and (depending on the settings) alarm will be triggered, police will be informed, etc.
Now we come to the last point, a burglar is in your home and you need to defend yourself. For self-defense these self-defense weapons and everything else that is tangible come into question
For distance: RAM pistol, crossbow, bow and arrow, softair, slingshot, etc.
For close combat: knife, baseball bat, baton, stun gun, kubotan etc.
Attention: We are talking about self-defense, your life is at stake. In addition the excerpt from the penal code §32
(1) Whoever commits an act, which is required by self-defense, does not act unlawfully.
(2) Self-defense is the defense that is necessary to avert a present unlawful attack from himself or another.
Self-defense weapons & weapons law: This is what you should be aware of
Illegal weapons: Hands off – these weapons are prohibited!
Be careful when buying and inform yourself about the type of weapon. Because there are also weapons that are illegal.
– The Weapons Act defines weapons whose possession is basically illegal. For example, in Germany it is forbidden to own certain weapons of war. – Even weapons that are actually legal in Germany, for example a tactical flashlight, can have illegal additional functions. Thus, a tactical flashlight with a stun gun function is prohibited. – Furthermore, there are a number of weapons whose possession is generally prohibited, for example butterfly knives or so-called stun guns without PTB seal.
Our recommendation is therefore: Find a suitable self-defense weapon for you and inform yourself specifically about this model in terms of legality and prohibited versions and buy it in a specialized store.
Acquisition: What you need to consider when buying a weapon
You can buy a range of weapons for self-defense in stores, a wide selection is available in the so-called army stores. But many models can also be purchased online, whether it is Amazon or another online store specifically for weapons. To consider is thereby:
– Some self-defense weapons require the age of majority (18 years) – Some weapons require a small firearms license (e.g., alarm guns). However, most self-defense weapons can be obtained without a firearms license. – Particularly dangerous weapons require a large weapons license, as well as a weapons possession card (e.g. sharp pistols).
Transport: Weapons must be transported specially!
When transporting self-defense weapons, you should also be careful to comply with the legal standards. – The public carrying of apparent weapons, cutting and stabbing weapons as well as knives with a blade length of more than 12 cm is prohibited according to §42a WaffG. – In the same paragraph it is stated that the transport is allowed in a closed container. The emphasis here is on “locked”, so the handbag or the glove compartment of the car fall out of the selection. – There is an exception for the carrying of alarm firearms with the small firearms license. If you have this, you may carry these weapons according to 10 paragraph 4 of the WaffG.
Weapons storage & storage: these rules apply
You should also pay attention to a few things when storing your weapons. It goes without saying that weapons must not fall into the wrong hands. – The heavier the weapon, the more stringent the storage regulations. – In general, firearms and ammunition must be stored separately. – Freely accessible weapons, such as a stun gun with a PTB seal, do not have to be stored in a locked gun cabinet. – Nevertheless, all weapons must be stored in such a way that they do not fall into the wrong hands.
More information on storage can be found in the leaflet from the Federal Office of Administration: www.bva.bund.de
Public: No weapons in crowds & public places
At public events and in some public places there is a general ban on weapons and other portable objects that are capable of “eliminating or reducing the ability of people to attack or defend themselves” according to §42 WaffG.
The small weapons license is of no use to you here, because even with a baton or pepper spray you can be expelled from the square. Of course, this also applies to demonstrations or larger gatherings of people in general.
Buy self defense weapons
You can easily buy the following weapons from Amazon.