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Firearms are weapons that use the combustion of gunpowder to launch projectiles at enemies at high speeds. However, they are unsuitable for dispatching Titans and have not progressed very far technologically within the Walls. Consequentially, they are almost always overshadowed by the omni-directional mobility gear. However, they are still regularly used by the Military Police and other human-to-human security relations. In addition, their larger cousins, cannons are used as the main line of defense against Titans by the Garrison. The Scout Regiment and the Garrison also use flare-guns to communicate over long distances.
All varieties of firearms used by the Military are based on the flintlock mechanism, where a piece of flint ignites the powder and fires the gun, which must be reloaded after every shot. During the battle of Trost, one of the most notable features of the firearm is the lack of smoke it produces which creates a large flash, compared to black-gunpowder which produces a massive cloud of smoke when fired.
Firearms are unable to kill Titans because they lack the power to penetrate through the nape of the neck, the Titans' weak spot. Also, given a Titan's fast regeneration rate and the long time it takes to reload a flintlock weapon (15-30 seconds as they require pouring powder down the barrel and pushing the bullet down with a rod), they are practically useless in dealing enough lasting damage to effectively harm a Titan. However, they can shoot out a Titan's eyes and blind it until it regenerates them.
Armin Arlelt conducted a plan to use firearms to blind the Titans inhabiting the supply depot, as the rest of the soldiers would then aim for the nape of their necks, killing them and securing the area.
The soldiers within the Military Police Brigade often carry firearms patrolling the Stohess District, particularly shotguns. After Nile Dawk accuses Erwin Smith of treason, he and his men threaten to shoot him.
The squad led by Kenny Ackermann use a firearm variant of maneuvering gear named anti-personnel ODM gear when they are sent out to kidnap Eren and Historia. Later, Levi "borrows" a shotgun from a man inside a saloon to turn the tables on Kenny, who had chased him inside. After Levi escapes, Kenny acknowledges that Levi has gotten better for using the fact that saloon owners are legally allowed to keep firearms for self-defense. Later on, Armin shoots one of the members of Kenny's team with a pistol in order to save Jean's life.