According to the Directive on control of the acquisition and possession of weapons all Member States had to ‘ensure the establishment and maintenance of a computerized data-filing system’ at national level for weapons subject to the Directive. Germany passed legislation stipulating that its National Firearms Register (NWR) is to be created two years ahead of the deadline given in the so-called EU ‘Firearms Directive’ (Section 43a of the German Weapons Act).
In the register, all relevant data of the local weapons authorities are stored. The information kept by approximately 550 weapons authorities at local level are available via a central database for inter-agency processes and enquiries maintaining federal structures.
Only those data related to firearms and ammunition requiring a permit will be kept in the NWR:
The details are governed by the Act Establishing a German Firearms Register.
This enables all agencies which need weapons-law data to carry out their assigned tasks, for example for police situation assessments, to get access to the data stored in the NWR in the Federal Office of Administration at any time. In this way, the NWR directly contributes to public security in Germany. The ‘XWaffe’ data transmission standard created for the NWR is new in German weapons administration. The harmonized processes foster efficient e-government processing from start to finish.
The Standing Conference of Interior Ministers and Senators of the States (IMK) decided in its 204th meeting to upgrade the established NWR to NWR II. The objective is to record the “entire life cycle of a weapon”, i.e. from manufacturing/import to different owners to its destruction/export. For this purpose as a further increment arms manufacturers and dealers will be included. The upgrading to NWR II is funded by the Internal Security Fund of the European Union.