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do the amish use guns

Do the Amish Use Guns?

You may have spotted an Amish family traveling on a country road. Dressed in modest attire and atop a horse-and-buggy, you may have wondered about their lifestyle. 

The Amish community is a mystery to most outsiders, but what most people know about them is that they are very religious, ultra-conservative, and peace-loving. 

So, are the Amish people true pacifists? Do the Amish use guns, and if so, what do they use them for? 

Read on for the answers to these questions and lots more insights into the Amish lifestyle. 

What this article covers:

Can the Amish Use Guns?

Amish people may limit their use of technology, dress modestly, and live off-grid as much as possible, but that doesn’t mean they’re impractical. So, how does that translate to their views on guns? Are they forbidden in Amish communities?

It may surprise you to know that no, guns aren’t forbidden. In fact, many (although not all) Amish communities have guns on their premises. We’ll get to the reason for that, in a moment. But first, let’s address the burning issue you’re wondering about right now. Aren’t the Amish pacifists?

do the amish have guns

Amish Pacifism

Yes, the Amish are indeed pacifists. They live in total peace and harmony with their fellow community members, and their non-Amish neighbors. The Amish don’t believe in resorting to violence to resolve conflict. Nor do they support any wars, irrespective of the reasons for them.

The Amish are so dedicated to pacifism that they don’t even celebrate holidays that glorify the military or commemorate war efforts. They certainly don’t join the military. Even some contact sports are off-limits, due to their aggressive nature. 

So, what’s the deal with them owning guns, then? Don’t they view them with the same attitude they have toward technology?

Do the Amish View Guns as ‘Technology’?

The reasons why Amish don’t use technology are tied to their culture and their faith, which are inseparable. The Amish culture is based on their deep faith in God. They don’t want anything distracting them or tempting them to stray from their humble lives of obedience.

They avoid most forms of technology, as they believe that reliance on these systems will lead to greater temptations. They also believe that hard labor is biblical, and therefore more respectful towards their Creator than reliance on man-made technologies.

can amish use guns

The Amish don’t view guns as technology. Nor do they see them as inherently evil instruments. Rather, it is what they are used for that could be described as either productive (for example, hunting) or evil as in violence towards a human being. Therein lies the core of the Amish attitude to guns. 

Can Guns Ever Be Used In Self-Defence?

Amish people don’t practice violent behavior towards people, even in the face of intense provocation. Shooting someone, even if not fatally and in self-defense, would never be tolerated in an Amish community. 

However, many Amish people own guns. So no, the Amish don’t view guns as technology. They do, however, see electricity as technology. This is why living mostly technology-free usually means living without electricity. 

How do the Amish live without electricity? They live surprisingly well without it, as it turns out! 

Do The Amish Live A Completely Technology-Free Lifestyle?

While some of the New Order Amish have cell phones for community use in case of emergency, these aren’t smartphones, and they’re used only when necessary. Most Old Order Amish communities don’t have cell phones or computers. 

do amish own guns

Even their kitchens, with their traditional wood-fired stoves and woven storage baskets for shelves, are usually free of electrical appliances. Although certain labor-saving devices may be tolerated, these are always limited. Many Old Order communities avoid them altogether!

Some Amish use computers if they have to do so for work. Usually, these computers are not connected to the internet, but some Amish use the internet for work. Social media accounts are virtually unheard of, especially in more conservative communities. 

How the Amish Limit Technology

You won’t find conservative Amish watching tv, and even in more liberal Amish communities, it’s rare. They honestly don’t have much time for it, anyway. 

The Amish are very hardworking, and even in their leisure time they aim to be as productive as possible. Leisure activities include basket weaving, woodcrafts, quilt sewing, and other creative hobbies. Many of these activities serve a dual purpose - they fill leisure hours, and create an income stream, too.

do amish people have guns

Amish Baskets - Made By Hand In True Amish Tradition

Amish Baskets are a major source of revenue for the Amish community. With every purchase, they’re helping to support these hard-working people of the land and the continuation of their culture. Don’t forget to order your cute Easter baskets here. Your kids and grandkids will love them!

Amish women also love to bake, filling their hand-woven wicker bread baskets with freshly-baked loaves and handmade wicker pie carriers with tasty homemade pies. All Amish love gardening, too. They have a deep respect for the land and grow most of their own fresh produce. 

do amish people use guns

Do Amish Use Alternative Energies? 

The Amish use solar panels and other alternative energies rather than relying on the grid. But do the Amish use tractors and other mechanization for farming?

No, they don’t usually use tractors but if they need to, they do. Most Amish use gas-powered tools, battery-operated devices, and hand tools for most of their labor. However, if strictly necessary, they may use electrically-operated devices.

can amish own guns

The important thing to remember is that the Amish don’t view technology itself as evil or sinful. They merely try to avoid the temptations into secular life that familiarity with technology may lead to. So the Amish severely limit their use of technology and prefer leisure activities that don’t need it.

Amish men, and even some women, also enjoy hunting. But, do they hunt with guns? 

can amish have guns

Do the Amish Hunt with Guns?

Yes, the Amish hunt with guns. This is usually the only reason they possess firearms. Hunting is a popular pastime amongst Amish people, as it not only gets them outdoors but also provides meat for their families. Some Amish don’t hunt animals at all. Different communities have different views on hunting.

Despite this, there are a few Amish communities where hunting with guns is allowed. Amish men and their sons often go on hunting trips together, fuelled by the tasty treats lovingly baked and packed in by their wives and mothers. Amish picnic baskets are always filled to the brim with delectable dishes. 

do amish hunt with guns

Amish Weapons

What kinds of weapons do the Amish use for hunting? Amish people in Pennsylvania typically use low-gauge shotguns, or hunting rifles with low-caliber sights instead of other firearms. The association of human violence with handguns means that most Amish are not keen on owning them.

Of course, not all Amish are comfortable with hunting in this way. Many Amish prefer to hunt deer and other wild game with traditional methods, such as bows and arrows. This keeps their traditions alive, without the negative associations surrounding guns.

do the amish own guns

Although rare, some Amish do enjoy target shooting as a hobby. For this purpose, a BB gun is usually used to shoot cans or similar items off of a fence. It is the only other reason, besides hunting, why an Amish family would possess a gun.


Unlike the wasteful mindset prevalent in secular society today, the Amish lifestyle is peaceful, productive, and self-sustaining. 

Do the Amish use guns? They use them only to hunt, or for sport, but never in aggression. Practicing what they preach, the Amish lead a pacifist lifestyle that’s a beacon of hope in a world full of turmoil.

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