• 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
'Blackfacing' is Anglicism of the Year
They may be collecting for charity, but this is not really OK. Photo: DPA

'Blackfacing' is Anglicism of the Year

"Blackfacing", used by Germans to describe white people painting their skin dark to mimic black people, has been named Anglicism of the Year by a jury of linguists. READ  

Cocaine-cop trial shakes Bavarian Alps
File photo: DPA

Cocaine-cop trial shakes Bavarian Alps

For 20 years no-one noticed that the head of the drug squad in Kempten, Bavaria, was on a personal rampage of narcotics- and domestic abuse - until his wife shopped him for the €250,000 brick of cocaine he had stashed. But the local population isn't buying the story. READ  

Merkel wishes Tsipras 'strength and success'
Photo: DPA

Merkel wishes Tsipras 'strength and success'

Chancellor Angela Merkel congratulated Greece's new Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Tuesday and wished him "much strength and success" after his anti-austerity party's election victory. READ  

Refugees suffer over 200 attacks in 2014
Swastika graffiti at a refugee home in Bavaria with text reading "No asylum seekers". Photo: DPA

Refugees suffer over 200 attacks in 2014

Refugee NGOs' first annual report on violence against asylum seekers found that there were over 200 attacks on people and accommodation in 2014. READ  

'No German identity without Auschwitz'
President Gauck addressing the Bundestag on the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Photo: DPA

'No German identity without Auschwitz'

President Joachim Gauck on Tuesday warned Germans against drawing a line under the Holocaust as the Bundestag (parliament) opened a day of commemorations on the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. READ  

Handball! Neuer blows whistle on wax double
Manuel Neuer at the inauguration of his double in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Handball! Neuer blows whistle on wax double

Madame Tussauds' hottest new effigy was unveiled to the public in Berlin on Tuesday, costing a euro for each of the 150,000 hairs on keeper Manuel Neuer's head. Pity about the handball goal frame though… READ  

Railway union threatens strike over €2
EVG members outside a station during a 2013 strike. Photo: DPA

Railway union threatens strike over €2

As railway operator Deutsche Bahn (DB) continues negotiations with train drivers' union GDL, its other major union EVG has threatened a strike over pay differences between employees. READ  

Dresden tolerance concert draws 22,000
Photo: DPA

Dresden tolerance concert draws 22,000

As Pegida supporters and opponents clashed in Hanover, musicians threw a free concert in central Dresden on Monday evening to show another side to the city famous for spawning the anti-Islam movement. READ  

Germany remembers horror of Auschwitz
"Work will set you free," the gate at Auschwitz-Birkenau tells inmates. Photo: DPA

Germany remembers horror of Auschwitz

Chancellor Angela Merkel joined survivors of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Berlin on Monday to open a series of events dedicated to the end of the Holocaust camp regime 70 years ago. READ  

JobTalk Germany: Entrepreneur series
'Work I love and a rewarding family life'
Working mum photo: Shutterstock

'Work I love and a rewarding family life'

Melanie Fieseler is a British business/career consultant and coach, and founder of Berlin-based WorkSmart. She is on a mission to help ambitious mums like herself successfully combine motherhood with building a fulfilling and rewarding career or business. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Business & Money
FATCA: 'The age of financial privacy is over'
Gallery
The best regional foods TTIP opponents want to protect
Photo: DPA
Features
The rise and spread of Pegida
Photo: Shutterstock
Culture
This cosplayer did not think his plan through
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Photo: DPA
Politics
The Local's report from Pegida's largest ever demonstration.
Sponsored Article
Top-notch tech boosts bilingual schools
National
Six stories that will rock Germany this year
Photo: DPA
National
Terror alert at a new high. Should you be worried?
Dresden skyline and river by night. Photo: DPA
Politics
What does Dresden have against Muslims?
Photo: DPA
National
What were your favourite news stories of 2014?
Gallery
Top 12 German idioms
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
Photo: DPA
National
This German was abducted and tortured by the CIA
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Berlin
The Local's series on 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
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

1,788
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd