Germany concerned about gun ownership by far-right extremists

Europe
Sat, 6 Apr 2024 9:00 GMT
Over 1,000 right-wing extremists have at least 1 weapons license, according to latest figures by Interior Ministry.
Germany concerned about gun ownership by far-right extremists

Despite an action plan by the government to remove gun licenses from extremists, more than 1,000 far-right suspects still own guns legally, local media reported on Friday.

At least 1,051 right-wing extremists held at least one weapons license according to the latest figures by the Interior Ministry, Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland (RND) has reported.

Left Party lawmaker Martina Renner sharply criticized the government for not fulfilling its promises, and being too slow to remove gun licenses from far-right extremists.

“We don’t need new promises from the authorities, but concrete action against armed Nazis and Reichsburger (Reich Citizens),” she said, warning that a delay in tightening the country’s gun laws may have serious consequences.

Earlier this year, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s coalition government had announced a plan to combat racism, which included changes to the country’s gun laws to prevent right-wing extremists from getting weapons.

Under the plan, Reich Citizens, who reject the legitimacy of the German state, will not be able to get gun permits. Previously acquired firearms licenses of neo-Nazis and right-wing extremists will be revoked. Semi-automatic weapons will be banned.

Germany has witnessed growing racism in recent years fueled by the propaganda of far-right groups and the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.

Between January and October last year, right-wing extremists committed 13,610 crimes and carried out 559 violent attacks targeting migrants, refugees, or political opponents. Nearly 450 people were injured in those attacks.

According to the human rights organization Amadeu Antonio Foundation, at least 219 people have been killed in Germany by far-right extremists since 1989.

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