Earlier this month, a Reichsbürger and former martial arts instructor opened fire on police when they came to seize his weapons, lethally wounding one of the officers. Reichsbürger do not recognize the Federal Republic of Germany as a legitimate state, and tend to believe the true borders of Germany are those that existed prior to the Second World War.
The number of police officers under suspicion for their extremist views has increased, according to the SZ, not only for those who are members of the Reichsbürger scene, but also for officers linked to right-wing extremism. In total, the SZ found 40 cases of officers under suspicion for either their Reichsbürger or right-wing extremist ideas – which is more than twice as many as three years ago.
Bavaria's interior minister Joachim Herrmann called for a “thorough review” of such groups in the state, and German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière told the Rheinische Post that there would be a re-evaluation of the movement in the eyes of the government.
North Rhine-Westphalia’s interior minister Ralf Jäger warned last week that Reichsbürger are arming themselves with weapons they can acquire legally, according to the Rheinische Post. The shooter in Georgensgmünd, for example, had a hunting license and weapons possession permit and was able to obtain 31 firearms before authorities decided to declare his permits invalid.
And while Herrmann has called for a general weapons ban against known Reichsbürger, Saxony Anhalt's interior minister Holger Stahlknecht said each individual case must be reviewed, explaining that the government should not simply punish people for their views.