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The instructor in this concealed carry class is awesome. Rough around the edges, realistic, blunt, and unapologetic about it. My kind of people!
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^All good points. I am unfamiliar with German Law, but in certain U.S. States, you can use a firearm to defend yourself if an imminent threat of death or severe bodily injury is heading your way (person with a gun, knife, blunt object, etc.). Blank guns (as I know them) aren't effective for anything except making a loud noise. They don't fire a projectile of any kind (unless you know of a different kind of "blank" gun). As far as martial arts goes, that is a great point...as long as your attacker doesn't have a gun.
Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it, they say.
I know that blank guns don't fire projectiles, but here in Germany we have pepper-spray projectiles.
Thanks god the chance you'll meet an opponent with a gun here is rather low, even though just a few weeks ago there was a shooting in my area. Some guys fired 17 shots at a bar, thankfully no one was injured. And like 2 years ago some guy got killed with a shotgun at night on the open street, but the guys even turned themselves in after a few hours.
But as long as you don't fuck with the wrong kind of people, you're pretty safe. I'm not 100% certain, but I think those 2 shootings are related to drug business, propably cocaine.
The law situation sounds quite alike, atleast you also need that imminent threat of death or severe injuries, before you are even allowed to draw the gun, but only after you told the opponent you're going to do so.
I mean sure, as long as it's only you 2, it will be hard to prove who did what, but living in a big city isn't helpful there. I don't want to end up in prison or paying damages to the opponent, just because I forgot to fire a blank shot or tell the guy I'm going to draw my weapon.
It's also kind of funny, because if you get in a fight and you then look around and pick up a stick or the like, and use that as a weapon, that's totally legit, without you facing any problems afterwards. However if you got the weapon already BEFORE the imminent threat happened, you're most likely in trouble, unless you're 100% certain what you're doing.
I'm not sure if you have to apply for a concealed firearm training to get a license here, but afaik you only need to be 18, have no criminal offenses and pass a psychology test. And that's only if you want to carry it around holstered legally, the purchase just requires your address.
To get my FOID (firearm owner identification card, which is necessary in my state to purchase a firearm), I had to have a clean background and no history of mental illness. I also could not have been admitted into a hospital for mental reasons within the past five years (suicide attempts, self harm, etc). The concealed carry class and the actual permit itself have their own lists of requirements which can be found here.