Germany could tighten gun laws after Thursday’s mass shooting that killed eight people, including the gunman. Gun ownership in Germany is among the highest in Europe.
Attack on center Jehovah’s Witnesses in Hamburg have re-opened the perennial question of how well the various parts of the federal system work together, giving an argument to those in the government coalition who are calling for greater gun control, the Guardian reports.
Authorities in Hamburg emphasize how quick the police response was – a special unit arrived at the scene just minutes after the 35-year-old attacker fired the first shots.
Starting in 2021, the city is piloting a special unit modeled after Vienna’s after four people were killed in a shooting in November 2020. V as part of the initiative, which received a lot of praise, two vehicles, each with four teeth armed specialistspatrol the streets of Hamburg between noon and 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
Experts agree that the police certainly saved quite a few lives when they arrived at the scene after only four minutes and broke into centerwhere he tried Philip Fusza business consultant who quit Jehovah’s Witnesses a year and a half ago, killed 36 people with his semi-automatic weapon. Fusz ran away from the police to the first floor, where he tried himself.
Why did the authorities miss the signs?
But the public is now wondering why the said special unit does not operate every day. There are also many questions about the response of the authorities to the anonymous letter sent two months ago regarding Fusz’s mental health. At the beginning of February, the police officers visited Fusza at his home in Hamburg, but only issued him a warning when a bullet was discovered on top of the safe in which he allegedly kept a gun and ammunition.
As it turns out, the city’s health authorities had nothing to do with this unannounced police visit, although there were several indications, including an anonymous letter, that he had Fusz serious psychological problems, but refused professional help. Fusz he was also a member of the Hamburg shooting club and had a firearms license since last December. The process by which he was issued a license despite his psychological disorders is now a matter of investigation.
“If the field inspection was carried out and if if this publicly available data were also taken into account, the law should provide a sufficiently adequate basis for action and a psychological report. It is necessary to check why the security authorities did not get to this point,” he said Sebastian Fiedlerrepresentative of the parliamentary group ruling of the SPD for criminal policy.
Nancy Faeserthe federal interior minister, announced a revision of the amendment to the arms law, which has been under discussion since December after the arrest of 25 people suspected of planning an attack on parliament. “It is certainly necessary to re-examine the law and see if there are any loopholes in it. Above all, we want better cooperation between the authorities, but it is clear that the measures must also be proportionate.”
Gradual tightening of measures
Although Germany has one of the strictest gun laws in Europe, it also has one of the highest rates of firearms per capita. About a million people own more than five million guns in total—and that completely legally. Most of them are sports shooters, hunters or foresters.
Although shooting sprees are rare, 155 people die from gunshot wounds each year.
V Over the past 20 years, controls have been gradually tightened – after 16 people were killed in a school shooting in Erfurt in 2002, the authorities raised the age limit for gun ownership from 18 to 21.
Random checks have also been introduced to ensure that owners are storing firearms properly. After it is Tobias Rathjenwho doctors diagnosed with paranoid disorders, murdered nine people in 2020, they also introduced psychological examinations of those who apply for a firearms license.
Nancy Faeser has already announced the introduction of additional measures, including a complete ban on semi-automatic weapons in private ownership, but has encountered considerable resistance from its coalition partner, the FDP, according to the Guardian.