Germany moves to bolster gun laws

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German government agrees to tighten gun laws following pressure from relatives of school massacre victims.

BERLIN – The German government has agreed to curb gun rights, two months after a 17-year-old killed 15 people with a pistol taken from his father's bedroom, according to press reports on Thursday.

The left-right "grand coalition" has agreed to present a series of measures to parliament in late May tightening arms control laws, several dailies said.

"We have agreed on reasonable changes that will mean more security without over-regulating hobby marksmen and hunters," the deputy head of the conservative Christian Union parliamentary group, Wolfgang Bosbach, told the Neue Osnabruecker Zeitung.

The move comes amid a fierce debate touched off by the bloodbath in mid-March in which Tim Kretschmer shot nine pupils and three teachers at his old school in Winnenden, south-western Germany plus three passers-by before killing himself.

The proposals on the table include banning paintball, a game in which players use air rifles to shoot ammunition filled with paint at opponents. Lawmakers say the sport "simulates killing" and should be outlawed.

The draft law would also bar youths under the age of 18 from shooting high-calibre guns at target practice and permit police to conduct checks at the homes of gun owners to ensure their weapons are under lock and key.

An electronic registry of firearms would also be introduced along with, eventually, biometric security systems to help ensure weapons are only used by their rightful owners.

In addition, lawmakers would introduce an amnesty for owners of illegal firearms if they turn them in to authorities.

Relatives of the victims of the school shooting criticised the planned measures as insufficient.

"Guns have no place in the home," Hardy Schober, whose 16-year-old daughter was killed in Winnenden, told the Mitteldeutsche Zeitung in an article published Friday.

Schober leads a group of Winnenden parents who have lobbied since the killings for tougher gun laws.

AFP / Expatica

3 Comments To This Article

  • Melvin posted:

    on 10th May 2009, 14:38:41 - Reply

    Feel good legislation? Yes. Will it make the communities or Country safer no. The firearm was just the vehicle to conduct the violence. The vehicle could have easily been a knife, screwdriver, motor vehicle, or any other device the a deranged person will decide upon when he or she decides that they want to murder a large number of people.
    Legislation cannot put firearms back in the box any more than keeping deranged people from murder.
  • upsidedown posted:

    on 10th May 2009, 06:14:23 - Reply

    Haha, kinda funny germany. This won't do anything for the country, it's just consolation to families who fell victim to a lunatic. Ever notice something funny though? Mass killing at schools (which are "gun free" zones), but have you ever seen or heard of a mass murder at a gun show or NRA convention? I'm not saying its impossible to shoot up a gun show but your efforts will definately be in vain.
  • Oldgriz posted:

    on 8th May 2009, 23:25:04 - Reply

    welcome back Gestapo...Heil Hitler