Guns and knives in red-light zone banned

13th December 2007, Comments 0 comments

13th December 2007, There has been an upsurge of violence in the past year in the port city's two legalized prostitution zones, where tourists enjoy a shudder as they stare at swaggering pimps and the sellers of sex strutting the sidewalks.

13th December 2007

There has been an upsurge of violence in the past year in the port city's two legalized prostitution zones, where tourists enjoy a shudder as they stare at swaggering pimps and the sellers of sex strutting the sidewalks.

Hamburg is the first German state to apply new federal legislation requiring all licensed pistol owners except the police to disarm in signposted weapons-free zones.

"Knives, clubs, baseball bats, gloves filled with and anti-dog sprays are banned," said the state interior minister, Udo Nagel.

However women will be allowed to carry mini self-defence sprays.

Yellow signs warn visitors, who could be fined up to 10,000 euros (14,700 dollars) if caught. Nagel said the signs were 3 to 4 metres above the ground to foil vandals.

Police are to do spot searches in the Reeperbahn and a zone near the main railway station.

Several gun shops in the zones will remain in business.

"If you buy a knife or a gun, you are allowed to take it home provided it stays in the carton on the way," said Nagel.

Seamen's brawls, turf wars between underworld gangs, drug-linked murders and shocking poverty have been recurring features in Hamburg's vice areas since the 19th century.

An increasing trend among teenagers to frequent the area's sleazy bars and clubs and taste the low life at weekends has been blamed for a rising number of stabbings and beatings, many with middle-class victims.

DPA

Subject: German news, guns

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