• Germany's news in English
 

National gun register poised for 2013 launch

Published: 20 Nov 2012 12:20 GMT+01:00

Until now, keeping track of weapons has been the duty of 551 different local authorities and much of the information was held on paper.

But civil servants in Cologne have been collating and computerising the data since April, and the national database should be live from January 1.

The new database would offer a “considerable improvement to safety in Germany,” said Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich, who has been in charge of the project, which also fulfils EU guidelines that member states should adopt by 2014.

Requests for information about weapons from local authorities could take months to process and the new system would make investigations easier and quicker, said president of the Federal Criminal Police (BKA) Jörg Ziercke.

The BKA had been saying for years that the original system had to change.

Police trade union GdP welcomed the register, saying it would mean officers called out to a disturbance would be able to check whether a gun was registered at the location. Such information could save lives, said GdP head Bernhard Witthaut.

But socialist party Die Linke voiced concern that Friedrich had been too hasty in launching the facility. MP Frank Tempel said he was worried that it would not be able to completely replace the old system in January.

Parliament decided on the national register in April of this year at least in part as a reaction to two massacres over the past decade.

A 19-year-old shot 13 teachers, two students and a police officer at his former school in Erfurt in 2002, before killing himself. Seven years later a 17-year-old shot and killed 15 people in and around his school in Winnenden before also killing himself.

Gun crime, never high in Germany when compared with many other countries, dropped considerably over the past decade – in 2000, police registered 19,400 crimes in which involved a firearm. By 2011, this figure stood at 11,700.

Of the 2011 statistics, 5,600 were shootings and 132 were incidents in which a gun was involved in a murder, manslaughter or assisted suicide investigation.

DAPD/The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

13:58 November 20, 2012 by zeddriver
Wasn't there a former German leader that advocated "national" registration? And It worked. For the government.
14:21 November 20, 2012 by lucksi
And what about the 10 million illegal weapons? Where are those registered?
16:06 November 20, 2012 by inccmdr
That "leader" did the same thing in Austria. Does one believe the Hell's Angels and the psychopaths are getting their guns legally? That registration will stop a crime.?How pathetic...but politically correct at least. Always choose an easy answer when confronting the issue of criminal violence.
19:46 November 20, 2012 by Englishted
I may be wrong but in thetwo massacres over the past decade I thought both guns were held legally ?.

This must rate as one of the slowest knee jerk reactions in history.
20:09 November 20, 2012 by Hendrich Stein
¦quot;This year will go down in history. For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration. Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future!¦quot; - Adolph Hitler, 1935
21:53 November 20, 2012 by PNWDev
What? No posts yet blaming the gun for the crimes? Come on, I know you are out there.
22:17 November 20, 2012 by LaserGuy
Canada just shut down their registry of 'long guns' .. 'Short guns' still have to be registered, but the 'short gun' registry is every bit as useless as the one they just shut down.. I can't understand Germany's thinking! History does repeat itself, and this will likely not bode well for minorities again!
01:04 November 21, 2012 by smokerjd
Just like laserguy says.....Canada shut it down after millions of dollars were wasted. I thought Germany was a progressive country. It's not registering guns, It's registering honest people with guns, not criminals with guns. It will become an expensive joke just like in Canada.
01:18 November 21, 2012 by Valkyrie1944
How has vehicle registration reduced the number of deaths on German Highways?

Do you blame the driver or the car?

In all of recorded history, registration of any item either leads to taxation or confiscation.

But then, the authorities don't tax my washing machine in Texas ... yet!
12:51 November 21, 2012 by alterjank
I think that's the first time I've seen a scope on a shotgun.
20:55 November 21, 2012 by Englishted
@ PNWDev

I'll do it then ,without a gun there could be no gun crime is that correct?
23:54 November 21, 2012 by Leo Strauss
Both of the teenage shooters in Germany were on anti-depressants as were all of those in the U.S.. That is something that Big Pharma does not want you to know. Don`t take my word for it, check it out for yourselves. It`s not the guns, it`s the drugs.

As Hendrich Stein points out, dictators want to take your guns away so that they can have a free hand.

The 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects the right of the American people to bear arms. The Founding Founders did this to ensure that tyrants, foreign AND domestic, would not be able to trample on the peoples` rights through force of arms. The psychopaths in power are compelled to respect an armed citizenry. It`s the only thing they understand.
19:51 November 22, 2012 by Englishted
@Leo Strauss

Sorry but I have to disagree ,where I come from there is a restriction on gun ownership but I don't recall there being a dictatorship ,some political parties holding power that I didn't agree with , but no dictators .

How come you believe Adolf on this one with his track record of truth telling ?.

"The Founding Founders " would not have approved of the way the National Guard is sometimes used against its own people another thing that my country has not had to resort to thank goodness.
02:29 November 23, 2012 by Leo Strauss
@Englishted

Well, you have a constitutional monarchy now, but first the royals had to be sorted during your Civil War, didn`t they? You did this with hand weapons instead of firearms like the Americans but the principle is the same. Nothing like a good hiding, exile and beheading to remind the tyrant that he is not God`s representative on earth, but rather a robber-baron.

The Founding Fathers understood that the people have to be able to defend their liberty, sometimes with force.

I completely agree with your National Guard comment.
21:29 November 25, 2012 by truth is treason
10 reasons to band guns. The first step is to register the guns.

1. Banning guns works, which is why New York, DC, Detroit & Chicago cops need guns.

2. Washington DC¦#39;s low murder rate of 69 per 100,000 is due to strict gun control, and Indianapolis¦#39;s high murder rate of 9 per 100,000 is due to the lack of gun control.

3. Statistics showing high murder rates justify gun control but statistics showing increasing murder rates after gun control are ¦quot;just statistics.¦quot;

4. The Brady Bill and the Assault Weapons Ban, both of which went into effect in 1994 are responsible for the decrease in violent crime rates, which have been declining since 1991.

5. We must get rid of guns because a deranged lunatic may go on a shooting spree at any time and anyone who would own a gun out of fear of such a lunatic is paranoid.

6. The more helpless you are the safer you are from criminals or the safer the criminals are from you.

7. An intruder will be incapacitated by tear gas or oven spray, but if shot with a .357 Magnum will get angry and kill you.

8. A woman raped and strangled is morally superior to a woman with a smoking gun and a dead rapist at her feet.

9. When confronted by violent criminals, you should ¦quot;put up no defense ­ give them what they want, or run¦quot;

10. The New England Journal of Medicine is filled with expert advice about guns; just like Guns & Ammo has some excellent treatises on heart surgery.

Reminds me of a joke: A policeman stops a redneck in a SUV. The Redneck had a Conceal carry permit. The Policeman finds a 45 in the glove compartment, Magnum.357 in his holster, hunting rife and scope on the back seat and an AR16 and pump action 12 bore shotgun in his boot. The policeman comes back and asks the Redneck "What exactly are you scared of?" The Redneck says " Absolutely Nothing"
Today's headlines
Robots woo crowds at Hannover trade fair
Photo: DPA

Robots woo crowds at Hannover trade fair

Collaborative robots and intelligent machinery may have wowed the crowds at this year's Hannover Messe, but experts see German industry as having some way to go towards incorporating them on factory floors in what could become the fourth industrial revolution. READ  

Thousands protest EU-US trade talks
Photo: DPA

Thousands protest EU-US trade talks

Thousands of protesters took to the streets in Europe on Saturday to oppose the world's biggest free trade pact between the US and European Union. READ  

EU-US trade talks prompt German ire
Photo: DPA

EU-US trade talks prompt German ire

In much of Europe any mention of TTIP might receive a blank stare, in Germany the proposed US-EU free trade pact is likely to prompt a volley of angry words. READ  

Auschwitz expert slams Nazi justice record
Photo: DPA

Auschwitz expert slams Nazi justice record

Oskar Gröning, 93, a former Nazi known as the "bookkeeper of Auschwitz", goes on trial in Germany on Tuesday in what could be the last Nazi war crimes trial while an expert calls the country's judicial record 'miserable'. READ  

Turkish Airlines: married pilots are safer pilots
Photo: DPA

Turkish Airlines: married pilots are safer pilots

The general manager of Turkish Airlines has urged single pilots to marry, after the Germanwings tragedy blamed on a pilot with psychological problems. READ  

Germany and Greece
'It hurts when Germans call Greece a failed state'
Thanasis Glavinas outside one of the German parliament's buildings. Photo: Private

'It hurts when Germans call Greece a failed state'

With the war of words – and cashflows – between Greece and Germany showing no sign of dying down, The Local meets one young Greek who's come to see what the Germans have to teach about running a country successfully. READ  

Interior Minister wants quicker deportations
'Loitz doesn't need any asylum seekers' reads the graffiti. Photo:DPA

Interior Minister wants quicker deportations

Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière called on Friday for state governments to speed up deportations of failed asylum applicants, in the latest round in a war of words between the federal government and the states. READ  

VW CEO survives despite departure rumours
Photo: DPA

VW CEO survives despite departure rumours

Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn has dodged a broadside from company chairman Ferdinand Piech which many thought would unseat him from the troubled car maker. Instead, the steering committee has offered him an extension to his contract. READ  

Bayern doctor quits in spat with Guardiola
Tension on the touchline: Guardiola, Schweinsteiger and Müller-Wohlfahrt Photo: DPA

Bayern doctor quits in spat with Guardiola

The resignation of iconic club doctor Hans-Willhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt on Thursday evening threatens to unleash internal chaos at Bayern Munich after their Champions League humiliation at the hands of FC Porto. READ  

Deutsche Bahn flirts with drivers' strike deadline
An InterCity train in Hannover's main train station. Photo: DPA

Deutsche Bahn flirts with drivers' strike deadline

Rail operator Deutsche Bahn has until 3 pm on Friday to respond to demands from the Train Drivers' Union (GDL) for a "reasonable provisional result" in talks over pay, conditions and union representation. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Politics
A Greek learning politics in Germany
Features
The battle of the "Gates of Berlin"
National
Germany's favourite baby names of 2014
National
Germany's 'very poor' lobbying record
National
VIDEO: Mario Draghi suffers anti-ECB confetti attack
Politics
Merkel's 15 years at the top of German politics
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
10 things you didn’t know about Zagreb (and why you should go)
Features
Spice up asparagus season with The Local's serving suggestions
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
Travel
Lowest of the low: how woman exploited Germanwings crash
Sport
Football and the €30,000 firework
Technology
Why scientists oppose killer robots
National
Germanwings co-pilot 'searched suicide info'
Technology
Electrifying 'Ostalgia'
National
Which city is Germany's worst for drivers?
National
'Cannibal cop' gets 8 years
Can the 'nightmare' of a pilot downing a plane be prevented?
National
LIVE: Co-pilot suspected of crashing plane
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
National
Why east Germans are happy to get it on on camera
National
What would you do with a 250-year-old pretzel?
Features
Just why is the German flag Schwarz, Rot, Gold?
Business & Money
Getting German workers and bosses thinking positive
National
Uplifting thoughts to get you through the last week of winter
National
Who wants the Olympics more - Hamburg or Berlin?
National
Last-minute drama of Germany's Eurovision 2015 entry
National
German photographer takes world's top prize
Features
Meet the woman getting Germans to drink more – and better – beer
Gallery
Get inspired for International Women's Day with German heroes
Green party proposes first-ever cannabis legalization plan
Gallery
In pictures: Germany's seven most livable cities
National
Singapore canes Germans for train graffiti
Politics
Surprise! Germans love feeling like they run the EU
Politics
Anger over plan to show women what men earn
Travel
Munich tram fans bicker over new bell
Features
Kafka: puzzling translators 100 years on
Business & Money
France or Germany: Which country really is the best country to work in?
Photo: Police
Rhineland
Student driver crashes tank into family garden.
Photo: DPA
Politics
There was a notable absence at the Anti-Semitism Commission
National
How Dresden bombing still divides Germany, 70 years on
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Take a cute break with this gallery of baby animals
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

7,264
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd