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Even extremists can keep guns

The disarmament of extremists sought by Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) is in danger of failing.

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Even extremists can keep guns

The disarmament of extremists sought by Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) is in danger of failing. The reason for this is a lack of information exchange between different authorities. This was the result of a survey by WELT AM SONNTAG among the federal states. According to this, the Office for the Protection of the Constitution withholds important information collected from the weapons authorities. The reason for this is, among other things, a lack of legal requirements for the transfer.

According to the Weapons Act, the municipal weapons authorities can withdraw the license to carry weapons from persons classified as extremists due to doubts about their reliability. A query by WELT AM SONNTAG revealed that the Office for the Protection of the Constitution in most federal states only transmits so-called open findings. Information from intelligence sources, on the other hand, obtained, for example, from undercover agents or wiretapping measures, is generally not passed on.

The interior ministries justified this with the protection of sources or with reference to the respective constitutional protection laws. Only Berlin, Brandenburg, Bremen and Hamburg stated that they also made non-open knowledge available to the weapons authorities - for example in the form of so-called official certificates. According to information from the federal states, the authorities for the protection of the constitution in Germany currently have almost 1,300 legal gun owners as extremists.

In Saxony, for example, 71 extremists had gun permits at the end of last year. According to the Saxon Ministry of the Interior, 41 of these people are currently undergoing so-called background checks, as a result of which their weapons can be confiscated. 30 extremists can keep their weapons against it. Because according to the Saxon Ministry of the Interior, the Office for the Protection of the Constitution could not send any information to the weapons authorities in these cases "for reasons of secrecy".

After the deadly shots in a community of Jehovah's Witnesses in Hamburg about three weeks ago and the shot of a Reich citizen at a police officer a week and a half ago in Reutlingen, the disarming of extremists is one of the most important security policy projects of the federal government.

A draft for tightening the gun law presented by Interior Minister Faeser in January provides that applicants must first prove their suitability to own a gun by means of a psychological report. In addition, the weapons authorities should in future obtain information from other authorities, such as the local health authorities. Semi-automatic weapons similar to war weapons are to be completely banned.

In view of the research by WELT AM SONNTAG, the Greens are calling for improvements to the draft. "It must not be that the authorities for the protection of the constitution withhold information about armed extremists in this number," said the domestic policy spokesman for the Bundestag faction of the Greens, Marcel Emmerich. "The Minister of the Interior is called upon to strengthen enforcement with the federal states and to seek a legally secure solution for the exchange of information."

In the case of knowledge of extremist efforts, the withdrawal of the gun license must be a mandatory consequence. However, the current Weapons Act and the Faeser draft do not necessarily provide for this, but only "as a rule" according to the legal text. "In our opinion, the present draft is not sufficient at this point," says Emmerich. The FDP had recently expressed skepticism about tightening the gun law.

Faeser, on the other hand, pushes the pace. "We must not only have the same discussion about the consequences of weapons law after such terrible acts as recently in Hamburg," said Faeser WELT AM SONNTAG. Important provisions are missing from the current Weapons Act. "We have to ensure that if there are indications that the person in question is dangerous, gun licenses are not even issued or withdrawn in good time," said Faeser: "The state must do everything possible to recognize as early as possible if gun owners pose a significant risk to a person other people run out.” A faster disarmament of extremists is also agreed in the coalition agreement.

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