There are two usable weapons in the game, the tranquilizer gun and the sniper rifle, which are accessible from day 16 and day 23, respectively. They can only be used when a scripted attack occurs and they appear on the right side of the screen.
The main difference between the two weapons is that the tranquilizer stuns the target, while the rifle will kill anyone it hits. They are otherwise equally effective at stopping people - one shot from either weapon is enough and the shot works instantly after being fired.
When a scripted attack sequence starts, the shutter in the booth closes, a siren starts blaring and weapon lockers appear from the right side of the screen. The point when the weapons become available is scripted but is usually some time after the terrorist themselves appear. For example, on day 16, the tranquilizer gun can be accessed as soon as the intruder is on top of the wall, whereas during the attack on day 31, the lockers remain hidden until the attackers have neutralized all guards.
The weapons are activated in the following order:
- Drawer unlock: move the key to the area on the right, and release the mouse when it appears to slot into the lock. If this is done correctly, a lock-tumbling noise will occur and the lock itself will turn.
- Opening the drawer: click the tumbler (just like the stamp bar) to open (or close) the drawer.
- Selection: Activate the weapon by clicking it. A faint loading sound may occur, and a reticle will appear. If in use, a shadow replaces the object in the drawer.
- Firing: aim and shoot by pointing/clicking at the targets.
The inspector does not need to react instantly, but they must react appropriately after hearing the siren to deal with the attack. The first instance is not a quick-fire twitch exercise as the terrorist moves slowly. There is plenty of time to get out the gun as the terrorist moves towards the guards. However, in later sequences, there are multiple terrorists, and they move quickly on motorbikes. Stay calm, and then aim the limited ammunition - try not to shoot more than 1 round at each enemy if possible.
After the attack, a 10 credit "trigger bonus" will be awarded if a shot is fired but misses (if the attacker is neutralized before any shots are fired, the gun may still be fired before the day ends, obtaining the bonus). If the inspector hits any or all targets, he will receive a "sharpshooter bonus" of 20 credits instead. Missing or not reacting can sometimes lead to the death of some or all of the guards, even Sergiu.
Note that you can still move the key before the siren goes off, but hold the cursor some distance away from the locker areas to avoid having problems placing the key.
From day 16 on, the inspector is provided with a tranquilizer gun that resembles a Dan Inject Model JM. The gun can only be activated by inserting the key. There are only three darts. If used to shoot some terrorists who presumably carry explosives (including all motorbikes), the terrorist will immediately explode.
On day 23, an EZIC messenger delivers a note saying that a danger to the EZIC is in line that day. The inspector then receives a silver key to unlock the sniper rifle. The inspector gets to keep the rifle even if he ignores the man in red. Killing terrorists is no different to using the tranquilizer gun.
The rifle visually resembles an M1C/M1D Garand sniper rifle; however, it holds only 2 rounds in its magazine (as opposed to Garand's magazine capacity of 8 rounds) and the bullets fired by this rifle seems to be a rather large caliber since they are almost guaranteed to be lethal to those hit by them, regardless of where the bullet strikes the target's body.
- Rifles: Semi-auto bullpup rifles are primarily used by Arstotzkan border guard detail. However, they are also utilized by Kolechian armed motorcyclists as well as EZIC terrorists. As per the attack on day 2, these rifles are possibly not very accurate, or it could just be the riflemen's training.
- Handguns: There are several handguns that entrants will attempt to smuggle through the checkpoint as contraband. One is some kind of revolver, another is a pistol that resembles a Luger, and the other is a generic semiautomatic pistol. Some armed motorcyclists are armed with unknown handguns as well.
- In Papers, Please – The Short Film the inspector uses a handgun instead of the sniper rifle from the game.
In addition to Endings 9 and 10, misuse of the weapons can also result in a game over.
- Ending 5 - You are under arrest for killing an innocent man with the rifle. The penalty is death. Your family is held for questioning.
- Ending 6 - You are under arrest for shooting an innocent man with the tranquilizer gun. The penalty is forced labor. Your family is held for questioning.
- Ending 7 - You are arrested for shooting an Arstotzkan guard with the rifle. You are sentenced to death and your family is held for questioning.
- Ending 8 - You are arrested for shooting an Arstotzkan guard with the tranquilizer gun. You are sentenced to death and your family is held for questioning.