From the point of view of the domestic politician Marc Henrichmann (CDU), the shooting attack in a Hamburg community of Jehovah’s Witnesses does not give any reason to tighten gun laws. Rather, it highlights the failures of the local authorities in dealing with the later shooter, for whose lack of reliability there were several indications, said the member of the Bundestag of the German Press Agency.

“It is irresponsible that the Hamburg authorities did not withdraw the gun permit from the perpetrator,” said Henrichmann. “Our gun laws offer every opportunity to confiscate the gun immediately in the event of psychological problems – until the facts have been clarified.”

Confused religious theses related to the Holocaust

On March 9, Philipp F. killed seven people in Hamburg – including an unborn child – with shots from a semi-automatic pistol and then killed himself. Nine people were injured. The sports shooter had published a book in which he expressed confused religious theses in connection with the Holocaust.

Two months before the crime, an anonymous whistleblower drew attention to a possible mental illness and danger of the 35-year-old and cited the book as evidence. However, after searching the internet, the police saw no reason to take the gun away from him. According to the authority, two officials from the weapons authority did not find anything abnormal during an unannounced inspection of the sports shooter’s apartment, except that a cartridge was not locked in accordance with regulations.

Gun law debate

Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) wants to tighten gun laws. Among other things, their plan envisages a ban on private individuals using semi-automatic long guns similar to military weapons. Anyone who applies for a license to own a gun should in future have to prove their mental health. So far, this has only been prescribed for people up to the age of 25.

“We will not get more security through more rules if the existing legal provisions are not implemented,” Henrichmann objected. So-called Reich citizens, extremists and mentally ill people must be disarmed quickly and consistently – “our weapons law allows for that”. In the Hamburg case, the weapons authority could have commissioned a psychological report. The improperly stored cartridge would have justified the revocation of the permit and thus the confiscation of the weapon.