Today we have a post which features an Austrian. He runs through his countries laws for us. If you’d like to feature, please email us.
Hi, tell us about yourself?
My name’s Georg, I’m 42 years old, living in upper Austria and am a Sergeant in the Austrian federal police, fourth in command in a small station.
How did you get into shooting?
Learned it with an old air rifle from my grandfather as a small boy, but my parents didn’t encourage it at all. So I took it back up when first joining the military for my mandatory service and the police afterwards.
What type of shooting do you currently participate in?
I’m a member of a local shooting range and try to get there as often as possible with my wife, who – like me – owns a carry permit. Apart from that I use the police ranges, shooting almost exclusively handguns and carbines to ranges up to 40 and 200 meters respectively
Do you see yourself taking up any other form of shooting in the future?
I want to try some longer range shooting to maybe 400 to 600 meters.
How important is shooting to you?
Very! For me it isn’t only a means of self-defence or a hobby, it is a sign of a free people, to be able to own and also carry arms.
What has been the best shooting experience for you so far?
Not having to shoot a guy in the face from two steps away because he luckily saw sense and dropped the knife he was about to stick me with?
What other hobbies/interests do you have?
Family (married with kids), dogs, hiking, history, swordplay, bow shooting, reading
What changes to firearms law would you like to see in the future?
I would soften them up to the extreme. Nothing good comes to a disarmed population
Could you explain your countries gun laws?
Let’s get started with other weapons: Austria has one of the best (read, most lenient) weapon laws in Europe. Come 18, everyone can carry pepper spray or any kind of knife he damn well wishes in public, without having to give a reason for it. Exceptions: if you are banned from carrying weapons because of some felonies of course, and weapon-free areas like court houses, concerts, you get it. Not all knives are considered weapons though, so it would be perfectly legal for my five-year-old daughter to have a fruit knife in her lunchbox for kindergarten.
So, to guns. There are four categories:
- A, war material, covering full auto rifles, big calibre rifles, up to everything an army could need.
- B, covering handguns, semi auto rifles and semi auto shotguns.
- C, Bolt Action, Lever Action and similar, with a rifled barrel.
- D, like C, but with a smooth bore.
Everyone of 18 years or older and not banned from owning weapons, can buy and own as many C and D guns as he wants, though they are registered (the EU forced this upon us). For B, you need a permit to own and another permit to carry them. Acquiring an owner’s permit isn’t difficult, you take a practical test and a psychological one. If these requirements are fulfilled, you have the undeniable right to get an owners permit for one gun of category B. Undeniable. Nice, isn’t it? ?
Everything else, own more B guns, carry permit, you have to prove your need to the bureau, and it can deny you. But the basic, most essential right is yours. And in fact, a friend of mine, a British citizen, got an Austrian owners permit because citizens of members of the European economic community with residency in Austria got the same rights as Austrian citizens.
I own and carry a Glock 29 in 10mm auto and a German AR 15 variant in 5,56 Nato. The rifle got a folding stock and lives in my back bag. Getting a carry permit is very difficult, but being a police officer, I got one. My wife got one too, as my family was severely threatened last year.