Do Amish use guns?

Amish will not bear arms against others, but they do use firearms for hunting and other purposes

amish gunsThe Amish belief in nonresistance mean Amish will not serve in the military, law enforcement, or in any other position that requires them to use firearms against other people. Yet Amish are not strangers to guns.

In fact, many Amish homes contain weapons. Farmers in particular keep guns at home, in order to shoot pests. A Pennsylvania produce farmer uses his shotgun to clear his fields of groundhogs and other pests, for example.

Amish and hunting

Many Amish are also avid hunters. Some Amish have gun collections, and may take hunting trips locally, to land owned for hunting located outside of a settlement, or in some cases, out-of-state. A few Amish even make trips to the Western states for big game hunting.

Amish generally see little harm in hunting. Hunting allows Amish to enjoy nature. It also fulfills a practical purpose in that game shot can be used to feed the family. However, some Amish have objected to the practice of purchasing expensive hunting equipment.

For more information, see:

Amish Online Encyclopedia: Do Amish hunt?

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    1. Bob Rosier

      Well done and informative. As a Quaker, we also will not bear arms against others. Personally I hate guns because of the violence it has created in our country.

      I tell everyone I know that with cell phones, and with 911 service, professional help is only minute away, so the talk of protecting oneself is no longer a good argument. More people, often children, are hurt by guns in the home than any cases of actually protecting oneself.

      1. Scott

        911 ??? yeah right, when seconds count the police are only minutes away. The police usually show up just in time to pick up the pieces

      2. Brian

        Ignorant statement Bob...

        Because you can dial 911, guns are no longer needed for self defense? Are you joking? How did dialing 911 help those ten Amish school girls who were shot to death at school. The police were able to bring the coroner, which is the most they can do in any situation like that. It is your responsibilty to take care of your family! You can call the cops and hope everyhting is ok, I will bear arms and KNOW that they will be!

        1. edie nulph

          the amish

          everyone bad mouths the Amish they don’t want to make enemies they try to be friends with their neighbors I have known ALOT of Amish during the last 40 years of my life and there is a bad apple once in awhile but even considering the English people have a higher crime rate. People blame the Amish for all kinds of petty things.. The are peaceful people and if their children don’t behave according to the beliefs and follow the rules of the Order then something will be done. I’m so sick of hearing bad things about the Amish.

      3. Nicole

        A gun is a tool, just as a hammer, or an axe. Amish people are not violent. Guns are used for hunting food, not for violent purposes.
        Do you hate hammers, axes, ice picks, screw drivers? (some of the most grisley murders have been committed with common tools everyone has in their tool box. What about knives? Do you cut your meat with scissors? Forget about calling 911 if someone is trying to kill you or your family. Your best defense is to hide silently. Instant response is impossible. Also the police can’t arrest a criminal until AFTER they have committed a crime.

        1. stormy

          The Amish will survive any catastrophe

          The Amish are smart. The SLOW the technology boom down for their Amish humans. Technology advances CAUSE major stimulation and stress. The speed we non Amish have to deal with change and technology changing the basic way to live and thrive is hugely stressful. Too much stress reduces the immune system. Our human bodies have not changed since small farming communities yet our bodies are dealing with change humans bodies have never known nor were our bodies prepared for this kind of exponential change, stimulation and such new ideas unable to be filed in normal files…well, lots of physical maladies not to mention mental maladies we are unable to keep up or understand these biological feedbacks we should be recognizing as major stress and cause for susceptibility for novel illnesses and mental illnesses. Amish are very smart. They DO know guns very well. There will be no lack of skill when the necessity to kill is not only for hunting food but to protect one’s community from our LEO’s, FBI…those that work at ‘herding’ us peon peoples. Amish aren’t peon peasant people. They don’t brag about guns and hunting. Again they are smart. The Amish are one of the few human groups that actually work together. Notice you don’t hear them proselytizing and depending on God to protect them, feed them, think for them! They are smart. They will be a group the government will or already are very worried about. Not able to be brainwashed by stupid media. They will survive, they do have all the skills necessary to live off grid and without a sick government.

          1. MR MR

            Nonresistance means something

            “There will be no lack of skill when the necessity to kill is not only for hunting food but to protect one’s community…” What do you not understand about the word Nonresistance? Or do you think the Amish will quickly become murderers just because that is what you would do?

            1. Paul

              Not INTENDING to use firearms against others does not mean they CANNOT be used in self-defense. Killing a violent aggressive intruder in self-defense is not murder, it’s a pest control. If an Amish community experiences an attack of rioting low-life types, I do not think Amish men will simply allow Amish women to be raped, Amish men to be massacred, and Amish property stolen and destroyed. Being peaceful and non-violent does not mean being an unrealistic suicidal lunatic.

      4. Willie

        Help is only a minute away??

        I would have to disagree with your theory that police help is only a minute away. Most police respond after the incident and are not at your side like you would want them to be. There are numerous cases of a gun saving a persons life because of a lack of instant police protection. One of the first things that you would want to do in order to take over a society is to disarm it. Do some reading and you will find out that country’s that are lead by a dictator were disarmed first. Besides criminals will always have guns to use on the populace simply because they ignore the laws. I would say that an armed society is a more peaceful one. I have been carrying a handgun for over thirty years and thankfully I have never had to use it, but if I were ever in a dangerous situation I have the peace of mind that I could defend myself and family. Regards

        1. Richard Greene


          Mr O’Connor your ‘facts’ are just plain wrong. 30,000 people a year are killed by guns in this country. How many by pillows? That is just silly. Guns were created for one thing. To Kill. And they do it faster and better than any other thing we can own. No one is talking about banning guns, that is a lie spread by the NRA. But we need common sense gun laws aimed at keeping them out of the hands of people who should not have them. Every other industrialized nation on the planet has this problem figured out. Why can’t we?

          1. Sian

            Cars, doctors and cola are doing a much better job of killing people than guns, which unlike cars, doctors and cola, don’t do a single thing you don’t tell them to.

            As for your ‘every other industrialized nation’ claim, you are utterly wrong. Come back when you have some more facts (and not ‘facts’.

          2. Chuck Lynch

            Trust tyhe Government

            And your trust the Government to provide justice? Oh yeah, and by the way the German folks of the 30’s and 40’s counted on their government to provide justice too…and look at where it got them!!

      5. James


        So you rely on someone else’s gun (ie. police officer) to protect you.

      6. chris

        Profession help only a minute away

        to the post we don’t need guns. just call 911 on your cell and helps a minit away. that depends on were you live. We don’t have cell service here and the closest police station is 25 miles away. me and my wife would be long dead if an attacker came and we weren’t armed!!

      7. Don


        RE: Bob Rosier

        I was once at a Blockbuster video store during an armed robbery. The guy robbing the store held a gun to a two year old’s head to motivate the employees to move faster. You often don’t know how you will react to a situation until you find yourself in it. It turns out when I saw a little girl being held at gun point P****D ME OFF. I couldn’t hide my anger. When he told us to get on the floor as he was on his way out with the contents of the safe, he told us to put our heads down. I wanted to make sure to remember his face as clearly as possible in case he got caught later, so I kept staring at him. As he was leaving the store he pointed the gun in my direction and fired a shot over my head. I just thank God that he didn’t actually hurt anybody. If he started shooting people, I’m sure I would want either myself or somebody else present armed, not just for my protection, but for others as well.

        Here in the wonderful city of Milwaukee the store manager called 911, stated there was an armed robber who had just robbed them and fired a shot. Guess how long it took for them to bother to show up? 45 MINUTES! (Is that what you mean when you state that police are available in a manner of minutes?) People need to have some common sense instead of coming from an emotional fantasy point of view, ie, “I don’t like violence”. Neither do I, but despite me not wanting to be in that situation… it happened none the less.

        If someone broke into my house at 2am and wanted to do harm to my family, I’d rather spend my life feeling a little guilt from being armed and ridding the world of an evil person that meant innocents harm rather than being unarmed and spending the rest of my life wondering if I could have done something to protect myself or my family. I do not advocate people that don’t have proper training handling firearms, but to disarm law abiding citizens of arms that they have the right by our Constitution to own is just plain dumb.

        People are so paranoid. You are more likely to be killed by a bee sting than you are by these “mass shootings” that the media and politicians use to push their disarmament agenda. Wake up America! Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot disarmed their people before committing mass genocide. The #1 cause of death other than natural causes in the last century is DEMOCIDE, or in other words, death by government. Don’t take my word for it. Do your own research. More guns owned by responsible people = lower crime rate. Go to and look at the statistics. As gun ownership has been less restrictive over the last 10 years, the violent crime rate has gone down dramatically. We need to start being adults and not children living in a fantasy world. Is having a gun a 100% solution to these problems? No, but at least I have a fighting chance. I choose to live in freedom and self-preservation rather than living in fear and holding others responsible for my safety.

      8. Dillinger Siadak

        RE: Bob Rosier

        Alright, and you don’t need a fire extinguisher because the fire department will help, as you and your family burn to death while the fire department is trying to make it’s way down a busy street to put out your house along with all the other burning houses in the area. Point is, someone could kill you by the time the police show up, and your family, god does not want you to stand by while someone else dies, the bible tells us so.

      9. Ben Raber

        Incorrect assumptions

        Actually your assumption is incorrect. According to a study by the CDC there are about 1,000,000 cases of self-defense every year in the USA. There are less than 9,000 murders with firearms.

      10. ProudGunOwner

        You are an idiot...

        How about you get your house broken into and threatened and call the cops and see what happens. I guarantee my “war machine” AR15 will scare away any fool that tries. Police and 911 are only responders. People who take the time to educate themselves on firearms are reactors if needed.

        I’m a 28 year old female, mother of 2, own many firearms and valid handgun permit holder. I sport my 9mm on my hip, in public for everyone to see, while holding my childrens’ hands walking down the street. Love my open carry state.

        1. Judith

          Odds are

          According to statistics – while you were spraying the inordinate amount of ammo with your “war machine” – you just killed the burglar, who was unarmed, the elderly neighbor who was outside wondering whether to call the police, the cat, the dog – and you slaughtered your precious children. Congratulations, in defending yourself, you are going to prison for manslaughter.

          Your comment title was appropriate – for yourself, I’m afraid.

      11. Rodney Jordan

        Opposed to guns

        Bob Reiter, Totally off base. Any law enforcement officer worth his salt can tell you, more often than not, police are there for mop up duty. If the neighbor thief/druggie crashes through my door, there’s no law enforcement within AT LEAST 5 minutes. What if I can’t get to the phone in time before he brains my wife & I. No thanks. I’ll stick to my guns.

      12. stormy

        Making guns responsible for murder, killings?

        Gun are a tool. Only idiots give up their guns. Only idiots try to use a gun without any education. Only idiots blame guns for murders.

        Sorry, but kids taught how to use tools, such as gun as well as taught how to hunt, how to read the wilderness, kids that have CHORES work that they are responsible to do, regularly and are made to feel they are a necessary cog in the machinery of a family will NOT become killers.

        Us non Quakers or Amish or…are brainwashed by the constant media. We are not healthy. There is a limit of stress each individual human can take. The Amish reduce that stress so that their community members are able to THINK and absorb more information. When one is stressed out one stops thinking. Stop thinking, stop imagining, become totally a fixed center of their universe losing empathy and all meaning to life.

        I am concerned you are adopting the thinking of our very corrupt government who owns and rules all media who WANT US TO GIVE UP GUNS. Like duh. They also want us dumbed down. They need a stupid herd to manage. They want us to work for them for nothing…we take care of our own needs for food, sleep, housing…yet we bow and provide our hard earned money to pad their accounts larger than any single country’s account. We are allowing them our leaders, to extort other little countries of their resources such as health, education, water resources…thinking that removing guns is smart is probably the dumbest thing any human can do. Look at history. My goodness. Look at what all the powerful dictators such as Mao, Pol Pot, Hitler, Mussolini, Idi Amin…have done. First thing is to remove guns, like duh! These powerful humans have a book of recipes and our dear leader use that same book. False Flags, removing guns from the people, brainwashing via propaganda and subliminal suggestions in our media, putting poison (literally) in our drinking water (fluoride), giving babies fluoride tablets which fries brains…IQ btw, GMO foods…have you seen the test rats and mice on GMO foodS? Nice, slow sure way to dumb down the herd as well as make it unhealthy, needing to boost the coffers of the hospitals. Quakers must watch TV, huh?

        “Governments MUST USE propaganda for the masses they want to rule”…this is straight out of CFR’s policy position. This is a wake up call…

      13. Steve H


        Bob, calling 911? Really now?? You hate the gun, but call out people who carry guns to do your bidding for you? Ironic, no?

      14. Michael Godman

        reply on guns are not needed because you can call police with a cell phone

        First of all, in today’s ”Defund the Police” atmosphere, I would not count on the Police responding quickly enough to protect your family. Secondly, a firearm is a tool, just like many other tools. Would you ”hate” automobiles because so many thousands of people are killed in auto accidents each year ? And lastly, there are far more lives saved [[ and people kept from severe bodily harm ]] each year through the prudent and legal use of firearms by honest citizens protecting themselves and others. If you don’t believe me on the stats, you are certainly free to check these yourself.

    2. Bill

      So you are happy to call in the thugs (AKA police) to do your dirty work for you?

    3. Alan

      Yes, guns “cause” violence. Because there was less violence before guns existed, and criminals would not be violent if they didn’t have guns. :rolleyes:

    4. Deric

      When seconds count, police are minutes away. Average response time to call is 5 minutes. How is that useful- at all? I carry a firearm because those who intend to do harm take no break for me to dial a number and for police to arrive.

      Life is, above all, sacred. It is the highest value in our world. And it should be protected as such. Those who take lives without cause will continue to do so, they must be stopped with force. So why wait for three murders to lead to an arrest, when you can stop it before one?

    5. Dpaul

      Comment on Do Amish use guns?

      Reply to: “Yes, guns “cause” violence…” Ignorance is bliss it sounds like Alan. You think there was less violence pre-gunpowder? Ha! There were many other weapons of choice that merely evened the playing field, and the key is the PERSON holding ANY weapon is the CAUSE of violence…be it a gun, knife, sword, hammer, pick, club, spear…(this could take a while). The tree was NOT the CAUSE of the severe clubbing of the victim now was it? Think…period!

    6. Marlene

      Amish/Mennonites and Guns

      In Genesis, when the population on the earth was 4, there was a 25% murder rate. It is the evil in one’s marrow that kills.

      Mennonites realize that tools can be used for what they were designed, whether it be a hammer to build a house, or a gun to hunt a deer to feed your family; or these tools can be used for murder and mayhem. Mennonites and Amish don’t buy guns to protect their property, except for the miscellaneous miscreant groundhog. We can tell the difference. It is important to know how to use and store your firearms, and Mennonites and Amish do.

    7. Tianna

      amish and guns

      Living where I do out in the middle of no where and the boonies on the corner of the sticks and bfe.. the response time when we have had to call the sheriff or for matter of argument the emergency squad our average wait time was an HOUR AND HALF! Now had someone been causing harm or trying to kill us or someone seriously hurt we would be in big trouble. My not so nice neighbor (not amish by a long shot more like ignorant poor excuse of a human being) was knowingly shooting a high powered gun towards our home while knowing we were outside with our 2 year old son, his bullets just so happen to come onto our property (maybe because he was shooting purposibly in this direction) and hit something close to where my husband and 2 year old son were standing and it bounced off and hit something else you could hear it. THANK GOD my 2 year old got scared when the 2nd shot happen and came running scared looking for mommy on the other side of our house. my husband said the bullet hit right where our son had been standing and my husband had been right there but dove into the ditch he had been digging. Then there was another event similar same neighbor its just crazy. we moved into the country to get away from the crazy city violence and happen upon this crazy neighbor and one other 4 houses up. Other than that its wonderful mostly amish all around see buggys go by all the time or just them riding horses. My thing is we dont own a gun have never wanted one for fear of my sons safety. I have been rethinking this with some issues we have had since living here. then also have the reality of if we have to put a horse down we have to always call someone when that time comes because we humanely put them down ourselves so they can be donated to a wild cat rescue sanctuary so their loss isnt in vain. I can see both sides of the fence about guns for defense being good and bad. Just wanted to get it known that response time even with a cell phone is not always quick. Even the sheriff the other day told us to protect ourselves and property as if in fear of our lives with what the neighbors are stalking us and doing…..he said usually cant get to us any sooner than an hour to an hour and half!

    8. Gary

      Gun not bad

      Guns don’t cause vilence or crimes! I own 200 weapons, and raised
      4 kids without one mishap. I carry consealed 24/7, and never shot
      anyone. It’s people that are a danger if not trained or just bad
      to start with.

    9. Peachycream


      On January 10,2012, a young man from Brooklyn, Ohio was shot in Trumbell County while supposedly he was hunting. Details are sketchy about the shooting and authorities are saying that it was accidental. However, the caller’s name was DAN MILLER (an AMISH name) and he mentioned that his brother had shot someone 45 minutes prior to the call.Also in another article online, a JAMES MILLER mentioned that he was out hunting with his 15 yr old son.So do the AMISH use guns…absolutely. There are so many CRIMES being committed by the AMISH and they believe that they are EXEMPT from the law.I believe that the young man was killed by one of the AMISH folks and his orange vest and gun may have been stolen by the AMISH folks or someone else. There are too many inconsistencies in the information that is being put on into the media. Also, the authorities in TRUMBELL COUNTY are not releasing the name of the SHOOTER. Is this possible because the shooter might be an AMISH. What I have learned about the AMISH and the MENNONITE but especially the AMISH, it seems like they think that the government can’t touch them under any circumstances. So do the AMISH use guns? ABSOLUTELY, and they hate the ENGLISH (those folks who are not AMISH). They should all be put in jail for suspicion. The AMISH want to use the ENGLISH but they hate us all!!!

      1. I’ve heard there was a shooting as well, but I haven’t seen much reported on identity yet. It’s possible the person was Amish, though being named Miller does not automatically = Amish–video-.html?nav=5021

        Much of what you are saying (Amish hate us all, etc) is ridiculous. Take a deep breath.

        1. David Miller

          very well said Eric.Your words echo my thoughts precisely!

    10. Nic

      Amish and guns

      Erik, in regards to the the incident in Trumbull Co, OH, I’m trying to get some clarity from a third party. I am related to the victim, and investigators are not very forthcoming with some of even the most basic questions my family has. So, in general:

      With your experience with the Amish and firearms, are you familiar with what types of muzzleloaders they own? Do they tend to use older types, i.e. smooth bore flintlock, or are some not opposed to using newer rifled types? Do any that you’ve come across use scopes or optics? I noticed the scoped rifle in a picture in one the other pages here, though I’m unaware if this picture is from your experiences or just a stock photo.

      1. Amish firearms models

        Nic, I am sorry to hear about your family’s loss. The photo you are referencing is a stock photo. I wish I knew more on firearms specifics but do not. I do know there are Amish-owned shops which sell scopes and optic devices and as far as I know (at least some) Amish would not have anything against using them.

        One idea might be to post your question on any of the following posts (regarding the Dec. Holmes County shooting)–this blog has some Amish and former Amish readers, who sometimes comment and might be able to answer:

        1. Nic

          Thanks, I appreciate the input

      2. Nicole


        Nic, I am sorry for your loss. It appears to me to be a tragic hunting accident. Amish people do use antique as well as modern guns for HUNTING FOOD, not for killing people. Amish people are not violent. Hunting and fishing are simply a way of supplementing the family food supply. Wild game and home raised meat are much more healthful than meat from a store.

    11. Tenille R. O'Connor

      Murderers use weapons

      Many people use tools for daily living. They only become a weapon when in the hands of a violent person. I grew up near Amish communities and just like any other community, they have alot of wonderful, caring, generous people. But they too are human, therefore they have the potential to respond to disappointment, anger and any other negative emotion in a violent way. Firearms and knives, etc. are only tools unless a person uses them in a way that harms someone. There have been murders committed by someone putting a pillow over someone’s face… does that mean that pillows are a weapon?

    12. Tenille R. O'Connor

      Murderers use weapons

      Many people use tools for daily living. They only become a weapon when in the hands of a violent person. I grew up near Amish communities and just like any other community, they have alot of wonderful, caring, generous people. But they too are human, therefore they have the potential to respond to disappointment, anger and any other negative emotion in a violent way. Firearms and knives, etc. are only tools unless a person uses them in a way that harms someone. There have been murders committed by someone putting a pillow over someone’s face… does that mean that pillows should be banned?

    13. Adam

      I’m not getting in the gun control debate (I keep a gun in the home, that’s all I’ll say about that). I don’t hunt, because if I did, it would be for food (but since I’m a vegetarian). I kind of figured they did own them for hunting. Do you have any information on Amish hunting traditions? I’m a little curious. Do they use only guns? What about bow hunting? Do they do trapping? Sorry for all the questions, but I think that’s why this website exists. Have an awesome day.

    14. skunk


      Best you can do:

      But probably the Amish and their hillbilly neighbors don’t believe in science.

    15. Wade Waters

      Amish Pacifism

      I’m wondering if the Amish have plans to repel, say, an invasion of EBTers from Philly when the food in the big cities runs out. I believe the Amish do think ahead and understand the fragility of our food supply chain often referred to as ‘just in time’. Hopefully they have plans in place to block the roads and set up a perimeter defense.

    16. Concern

      The Amish Farm…
      It may have happened…
      Farm produced
      Family generations began to disperse.
      The old man died.
      Land sold.
      House and survivor remain.
      People ask, “is it true, the Silo, having rented rooms?
      He, having a good old man, religious.
      Oh, there’s a manor, in the town, with his name.