The legislation is reportedly being prepared by German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser, who cited a foiled attempt at a coup in the country as the reason behind the move. The paper says the 48-page draft law calls for individual citizens to be banned from owning “dangerous” semi-automatic weapons.
The legislation also seeks to restrict the ownership of blank-firing starter pistols and crossbows. The minister has linked the pistols to migrant riots that took place in various German cities on New Year’s Eve. The government is also planning to restrict the activities of shooting ranges, requiring visitors to show a shooting permit before firing various types of guns.
Germany already has some of the most stringent anti-gun laws in Europe. Ownership of guns is rare among private citizens, and obtaining a firearm license is a lengthy and complex process there. Licenses are only granted in rare cases and are only given to those who manage to prove that they are in greater danger than members of the general public and that carrying a firearm will keep them safer. It costs around $540 to file an application and get the required insurance.
The country’s existing strict gun control laws have done little to stop mass shootings in recent years, as evidenced by one high-profile incident that occurred at Heidelberg University last year. On that occasion, an 18-year-old student entered an auditorium and fired several shots at people before turning the gun on himself, killing one person injuring several others. The gunman did not have a firearms license and had reportedly purchased his gun outside of the country. The country has also been experiencing a lot of knife crime.
Other European nations with strict gun control laws are also noting shootings, with France the site of many firearms attacks such as the famous massacre at the Bataclan theater in Paris in 2015 that resulted in the deaths of 90 people. Many people who wish to carry out such attacks obtain their guns through the black market or turn to other weapons and tools to perpetrate violence.
Despite the failures of these gun control measures to curb such violence, leftist politicians continue their blind pursuit to take gun rights away from those who obey the law.
The coup the minister has been claiming motivated the new legislation involved a far-right group that was allegedly planning to violently overthrow the German government and put a minor royal in the country’s top leadership position. More than two dozen individuals who were suspected of being involved in the plot have been arrested so far.
Faeser warned that the movement, known as Reichsbuerger (which means "citizens of the Reich") is a rising threat to the country as its numbers have grown to 23,000.
She said: “These are not harmless crazy people but suspected terrorists who are now sitting in pre-trial detention."
The suspects reportedly include people who possess stockpiles of various weapons and are trained in their use, and they have been trying to recruit former and current members of the armed forces.
She said that authorities needed to “exert maximum pressure” to remove the group’s weapons and vowed the government would “shortly further tighten gun laws”. More than a thousand weapons have already been confiscated from group members.
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