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Na­tion­al Firearms Reg­is­ter (NWR)

As the re­spon­si­ble reg­is­tra­tion au­thor­i­ty, the Fed­er­al Of­fice of Ad­min­is­tra­tion (BVA) start­ed to op­er­ate the Ger­man Firearms Reg­is­ter on 1 Jan­uary 2013, which pro­vides es­sen­tial cur­rent and time­ly in­for­ma­tion on ev­ery firearm re­quir­ing a per­mit and in pri­vate pos­ses­sion.

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:

  • In­for­ma­tion about the re­spon­si­ble weapons au­thor­i­ty (e.g. name, ad­dress);
  • In­for­ma­tion about the weapon own­er (nat­u­ral and le­gal per­sons and groups; e.g. name, ad­dress, date and place of birth, cit­i­zen­ship);
  • In­for­ma­tion about the per­mit (e.g. type of per­mit);
  • In­for­ma­tion about the firearm (e.g. man­u­fac­tur­er, mod­el, cat­e­go­ry of weapon, cal­i­bre).

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.

Up­grad­ing to NWR II

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.

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