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New stats: Germans own 5.5 million guns

Published: 29 Dec 2012 11:22 GMT+01:00

The figure is at the bottom end of previous estimates, which had previously put the number of privately-owned guns at between five and ten million.

The new national gun register bundles together the data from some 551 local authorities, which were previously not interconnected. Some still had not even digitized their records, and still kept weapons ownership information on index cards.

According to the Interior Ministry, this will be the first time that reliable information on the legally-owned guns will be available to the police and other security authorities. A spokesman said the initiative would make an important contribution to public safety.

With the move, Germany is conforming to a European Union directive which obliges all member states to set up a weapons register by the end of 2014. But calls for centralized, easily accessible information were intensified after the 2009 school shooting in Winnenden, southwestern Germany, where 16 people were killed, including the 17-year-old perpetrator.

DPA/The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

16:46 December 29, 2012 by The-ex-pat
The number and the manner in which they are logged is irrelevant. It is how they are secured that is important. In twenty years of having a waffenbesitzkarte, not once have the police called or knocked to check on the security of my firearms.......
19:05 December 29, 2012 by Eric1
5.5 million, that's not many for a country the size of Germany.
19:37 December 29, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
We need more guns in Germany so we can be safer from those with guns. /Sarcasm
20:40 December 29, 2012 by marimay
Yeah, I would rather be at the mercy of a loony with a gun/ knife/ whatever as well, Berlin.
00:55 December 30, 2012 by SockRayBlue
This is a very big issue in America. Our Constitution deals with it and the politicians keep trying to tell us that it means something else. Do not fall for the politicians lying to you. Read world history and remember what happened in the 30's when certain groups of people were divided from the population. It can happen again and the US is very near another revolution.
10:53 December 30, 2012 by hech54
Oh boy. Another American gun-nut heard from:

A) These "revolutions" they speak of only get talked about when a Democratic president is in office

B) The overwhelming majority of American gun-nuts ARE right-wing nut jobs as well....just like the leader of Germany in the 30's - 40's that they elude to as being the evil villain(that he truly was).
12:39 December 30, 2012 by Englishted
Less guns ,less gun crime ,wow rocket science for dummies.
12:41 December 30, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
@sockrayblue

The reason the american constitution deals with it is the american constitution was adopted in 1787. Those times were a far cry from today and a big failing point of the US constitution is the almost total inflexibility in contrast to the UK constitution which can be amended easier in order to move with the times.

Guns are restricted in the UK and it is no coincidence that there is 40 times more gun homicide in the US than in the UK.
13:06 December 30, 2012 by Englishted
@SockRayBlue

So ,if we don't all own a assault rifle there is a chance of the forth Reich,if only I'd have known I'll buy one tomorrow . :-O
16:16 December 30, 2012 by Silmarillion
" [...] the poor wording of the Second Amendment. There are actually several slight variants, but basically it goes, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

Um, what?

That's just badly written, is all. Nobody knows quite what it means, and nobody has ever known what it means, exactly. "State" as in a whole country and its government, like when Louis XIV said "I am the State"? Or an actual U.S. State, such as, say, Connecticut? Does "people" mean populace (collectively), or persons (individuals)? How exactly does "shall not be infringed" interact with "well-regulated"? Those ideas seem to contradict each other. Some people think "Militia" is equivalent to "The National Guard"—but others dispute that. And so on. [...] "

http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2012/12/open-mike.html
19:21 December 30, 2012 by mitanni
"B) The overwhelming majority of American gun-nuts ARE right-wing nut jobs as well....just like the leader of Germany in the 30's - 40's that they elude to as being the evil villain(that he truly was)."

I see, Godwin's law: try to win an argument by associating your opponent with the Nazis. Really, it just makes you look uneducated and like a demogogue.

FWIW, Germany got its first gun control laws in 1928, motivated by a concern of the left parties about right-wing extremism (kind of like your argument). When Hitler came to power, he kept those laws and used them to justify otherwise illegal searches; he also used the weapons registry to disarm Jews immediately.

East Germany also had a very strict gun control law: people who were deemed proper by the police could "own" a gun, but it had to be left with the police and could only be taken out for a limited amount of time for hunting.

That's what gun control laws are actually being used for by governments. There is, on the other hand, no evidence that gun control laws lower murder rates.
19:44 December 30, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
Are you in line with reality mitanni?

In the United Kingdom firearms are tightly controlled by law, and while there is opposition to existing legislation from shooting organisations,[citation needed] there is little wider political debate, and public opinion favours stronger control. The British Shooting Sports Council now believes that the law needs to be consolidated but it does not call for a review.The United Kingdom has one of the lowest rates of gun homicides in the world with 0.07 recorded intentional homicides committed with a firearm per 100,000 inhabitants in 2009 compared to the United States' 3.0 (over 40 times higher) and to Germany's 0.21 (3 times higher). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_politics_in_the_United_Kingdom
03:10 December 31, 2012 by zeddriver
@Silmarillion

The US supreme court in a case involving the second amendment. Stated that the second amendment did in fact give an individual the right. And their is also the rather obvious fact that the first ten amendments are in the "bill of rights".

Which concerns rights afforded to the "people" and not the state/federal government. Most seem to forget that simple fact.

And as per changing the constitution with "the times" It's hard. But can be done. It's just that an amendment will not pass with the super majority required.
06:47 December 31, 2012 by RainerL
Whoaaa! That's a load of Guns out there. Why do people feel the need to have them? The best Gun controll is No Guns! Period
09:54 December 31, 2012 by schneebeck
You folks calling for removing guns from everybody, including thousands and thousands of law abiding, decent gun owners sound very, very confident of your intellectual capabilities.

While you're at that, are there any other of the 10 U.S. Bill of Rights that are "not with the times"? Maybe we should allow more "flexibility" with those too?

Wouldn't changing those rights be OK too, if it only infringes on "right-wing" rights?

If you are SO much smarter than American "gun-nuts" and right wing "nut-jobs":

Do you think you could come up with a "meaningful" solution that takes the guns away from bad people and leaves alone the right to bear arms of good people?

How hard could that be for such a supremely intelligent group of individuals like yourselves?
13:50 December 31, 2012 by Englishted
@schneebeck

Not sure you can class this a intellectual idea,but if you have less guns you have less gun crime .

Am I correct in thinking that in the last school shooting the murderer got the guns from a legal source namely his mother ?. Who was a law abiding, decent gun owner .
14:45 January 2, 2013 by truth is treason
@EnglishTed, "Less guns ,less gun crime ,wow rocket science for dummies."

Do you think people with legally owned guns are used to commit crime? Hence your statement does not make sense.

It is the illegally owned guns that commit crime. There are criminals that do not bother with the law, these are the guns that are deadly. Not 5.5 Million guns in Germany did not kill anyone today.

You are correct the guns where stole from his mother that had them legally.

The same with the last school shooting in Germany, the son stole the guns from a locked gun cabinet. A previous article mention the gun owner left the guns within "Reach" the son was 17 years old so could probably reach quite high then
16:41 January 2, 2013 by Englishted
@ truth is treason

So in both cases the murderers got hold of legally held guns ,by a logical train of thought if the guns were not there ,there could have been no crime therefore I stand by my first comment "less guns ,less gun crime".

I do not understand how following your comment you think that mine "does not make sense".
16:12 January 4, 2013 by ErnestPayne
Registering weapons and keeping them "off the streets" is an excellent and very "workable" concept. Ignore the americans. It is still 1776 to them. Their "thinking" and constitution are fossilised.
17:03 January 4, 2013 by soros
It's not only Germans who will need guns in the future, it's every European, every patriot, everyone who wants to save Euro culture from the invasion of Islam which is taking place bit by bit at an increased rate. This is the third attempt at Islamic conquest of Europe and it needs to be recognized as such. This is not just a matter of people living side by side happily ever after: it's a matter of Islam as an ideology coming to complete what it failed to do in history: conquer Christian lands. You will need an armed population, not least to resist the blind horticulturalist dreamers who think to open the floodgates to Islam is cool or progressive. It isn't. It is suicidal. So arm yourselves Europe. You will need those guns for the battles to come.
08:13 January 6, 2013 by schneebeck
@ ErnestPayne #19

"Their "thinking" and constitution are fossilised."

Can you provide examples of countries with more contemporary and progressive constitutions?

Can you provide some examples of other parts of the U.S. Constitution that are fossilized?

How do these more progressive constitutions address the same issues you refer to that are addressed in a "fossilized" way in the U.S. Constitution?
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