A German police raid found what is believed to be a “war grade weapons” cache near a mosque in the state of Nordrhein-Westfalen (North Rhine Westphalia). The arsenal belonged to a group of Islamic extremists. The UK’s Express wrote that Germany has seen a spike in radical Islamists, and that the findings of this raid raised the concerns of Ismail Tipi, a German member of parliament, who says that it only confirms his feelings that these fundamentalist Salafists groups are ready to use violence against the civilian population:
Local politician Ismail Tipi revealed details of the raid and warned of “the danger of fundamentalists”.So, while Congressional Democrats wage war on Capitol Hill over passing more gun control to stop terrorism, which is absurd—let’s revisit the nation’s gun laws. To no one’s surprise, Germany has very strict gun control laws. There’s no constitutional right to bear arms, so the government can pass intrusive enforcement measures to ensure compliance, one of which is pretty much warrantless searches to make sure citizens are following safe storage regulations (via Library of Congress):
Germany has seen sharp increases in the number of ultra-conservative Islamists known as Salafists in recent years, with the total number of sympathisers now seen at 8,900, up from 7,000 at the end of 2014, German officials said.
He said: “According to my information, a weapons arsenal with war grade weapons was found in this search.
“The danger of fundamentalist Salafists who are ready to use violence arming themselves in Germany is very large. This secret raid finding this weapons cache makes this more than clear.”
Germany has one of the most stringent gun control laws in the world. The current Weapons Act deals with guns suitable for private ownership. It contains a highly differentiated regime for licensing the acquisition, possession, and carrying of permitted weapons that restricts, according to criteria of need, the number and types of guns that can be owned or purchased, and has specific age restrictions for different types of weapons. The Act bans automatic firearms, regulates the production of and trade in weapons, and has reporting requirements that allow the tracing of every legally owned firearm, including those acquired through inheritance. Moreover, the Act contains stringent and enforceable requirements for the safe storage of guns. The Act is implemented by the administrative authorities of the states, except for the newly created National Weapons Register, which is a federal agency.So, yeah—Germany has probably what American liberals would want to institute here if they could, and Islamic radicals were able to obtain mass quantities of firearms. That’s not to say we should do nothing, but when it comes to fighting terrorism—maybe divert monetary and political resources to intelligence services and law enforcement, rather than disarming law-abiding Americans.
Germany categorizes firearms as either weapons of war or weapons suitable for civilian use. War weapons are listed in the War Weapons Act and cannot be circulated among the population. Weapons that are potentially suitable for civilian use are governed by the Weapons Act and its prohibitions and restrictions.
The Weapons Act bans fully automated firearms. It also bans semiautomatic firearms that are not intended for hunting or sport shooting; pump-action shotguns with pistol grips or of a short overall length; firearms that are concealed in other objects; firearms that can be disassembled into unusually small parts; lasers, lights, projectors, and night-vision devices that can be mounted on the firearm to throw light on the target; and certain multiple-shot short arms in calibers under 6.3 millimeters, where the projectiles are not propelled solely by the priming charge.
Licensed gun owners are responsible for keeping their weapons under lock and key, and the law provides detailed specifications on the quality of the storage containers; these vary according to the potency of the weapons. Owners must inform the authorities of the safe-storage measures taken as well as allow the authorities to enter their dwellings for the purpose of monitoring compliance with safe-storage regulations.
It appears that such access must be granted without a search warrant, and, even though the German Constitution protects the privacy of the home, access cannot be refused if there is a threat of imminent danger. Random inspections, however, must be expected at any time and without any probable cause or suspicion. This increased right of the authorities to conduct inspections was enacted in 2009 in response to the Winnenden school shooting, and much has been said about the interpretation of this right.