The Hamburg police speak of "a misunderstanding in internal communication", for the Hamburg left, on the other hand, there is "no longer acceptable behavior" on the part of police chief Ralf Martin Meyer - and that is why the party is now demanding Meyer's resignation. It's about how to deal with the book that the later gunman Philipp F. - he shot seven people and then himself in a community center of Jehovah's Witnesses on March 9th - published in December 2022 and on which the weapons authority was informed by an anonymous letter had received a notice.
This book, which contains anti-Semitic statements and confused religious derivatives as well as a glorification of Adolf Hitler, has long been the subject of debate. The Tuesday before last, Meyer, together with Interior Senator Andy Grote (SPD), explained that the officials of the weapons authority had then searched Google with the keywords "book" and the name of the later gunman Philipp F. without success; the exact title of the book was not known, Meyer said at the time. However, this turns out to be incorrect. In an answer to a parliamentary question from the left, it is now said that the title of the book by the shooter of March 9 was found during research by the weapons authority at the end of January. But they wouldn't have found the title alarming enough to buy it.
The Senate response now says: "During further research on the perpetrator's website - as has now been reconstructed - under "Publications" the perpetrator's book "The truth about God, Jesus Christ and Satan" was found, the content However, the book was not freely accessible. The employees of the weapons authority did not consider the title of the book to be sufficient evidence of facts that could have justified doubts about the suitability of weapons under the law and thus further measures by the weapons authority.”
Deniz Celik, domestic policy spokesman for the Left Party in the Hamburg Parliament, draws the following conclusion: "Either Meyer deliberately deceived the public or he doesn't know what's going on within the police force - either way, he's no longer acceptable as chief of police. Almost a week has passed since the press conference without the false allegation being corrected.” The fact that such a correction has not been made so far “is an anti-democratic approach to the press and the public and arouses the suspicion that the true facts of the matter were being covered up. "
As a consequence of the shooting in Hamburg with eight dead, the police in the Hanseatic city want to better check gun owners in the future. A police working group of ten experts, including internal investigators and external experts, has drawn up a five-point plan, as reported by the "Hamburger Abendblatt". Police President Ralf Martin Meyer told the newspaper that the plan is intended to minimize the risk of such acts.
"To this end, we are optimizing and professionalizing the work processes in the weapons authority with support from the competencies of the State Criminal Police Office," said Meyer. In addition, the police want to counter the threat of suspected mentally ill people with a more intensive risk analysis by psychologists.
The chief of police also sees a need for legal action on the weapons law. In Meyer's opinion, in the future all people who apply for a new small gun license will have to prove their psychological suitability at their own expense. And in the case of anonymous tips, a psychological aptitude test should already be ordered if there are "actual clues". So far, authorities have first had to prove that someone is not suitable.
Two weeks ago, 35-year-old Philipp F. killed seven people at a community meeting of Jehovah's Witnesses in Hamburg - including an unborn child. He then killed himself. Nine other people were injured in the shooting.
There had previously been an anonymous tip about the perpetrator. Officials from the weapons authority had found no abnormalities in the sports shooter. As a result of the crime, there was a lot of criticism of the review of gun owners in general and the gunman in particular.
The CDU domestic politician Marc Henrichmann, on the other hand, sees no reason to tighten gun laws. Rather, it highlights the failures of the local authorities in dealing with the later shooter, for whose lack of reliability there were several indications, said the member of the Bundestag. "It is irresponsible that the Hamburg authorities did not revoke the gun permit from the perpetrator," said Henrichmann. "Our gun laws offer every opportunity to confiscate the weapons immediately in the event of mental health problems - until the facts have been clarified."
Next Saturday, the Jehovah's Witnesses want to hold their own funeral service in the sports hall in Hamburg, which is not far from the community center of Jehovah's Witnesses. There was a similar event in the Christian churches last Sunday, but the Jehovah's Witnesses did not attend.