Paintball dodges bullet in Germany
The mooted ban was part of measures agreed on by the government earlier this week that included stricter laws on the keeping of weapons at home and gun ownership.Berlin -- The German government has ditched a proposal to ban paintball that was part of a package of new gun-control measures in response to a school massacre in March, a lawmaker told AFP on Thursday.
"There will be no ban," said Dieter Wiefelspuetz, an expert on domestic affairs in the Social Democrats (SPD), junior partners in Chancellor Angela Merkel's governing coalition.
The government, however, plans to conduct an enquiry to assess whether paintball regulations should be tightened by increasing age limits and other measures, Wiefelspuetz said.
The mooted ban was part of measures agreed by the government earlier this week that included stricter laws on the keeping of weapons at home and gun ownership that were widely criticised as not going far enough.
Critics say paintball is dangerous because it simulates killing but its supporters say it is a sport and that they are not shooting but "marking" each other with paint.
In Germany, it is banned for under 18s and generally not played in military fatigues like in other countries. A report commissioned by the government in 2000 concluded it did not make people more likely to engage in violence.
The government wants to tighten gun laws after 17-year-old Tim Kretschmer shot dead 15 people in the southern town of Winnenden in March before turning the gun on himself in a shootout with police.