In response to the recent school shooting in Germany in which 15 people were killed, the German government is planning to create a new central firearms register and set up biometric security locks for gun storage systems.

Officials from the Conservative and Social Democrat (SPD) coalition government said the draft law would also ban paintballing and bar youths under the age of 18 from using high-calibre guns in target practice.

The news comes after 17-year-old Tim Kretschmer shot dead 15 people before killing himself in the town of Winnenden, in Baden-Wüttemberg, in March. The teenager used his father’s legally registered pistol. His father, a member of a shooting club, had 15 guns at home. Fourteen were locked in a gun cabinet as required by law, but the pistol was unsecured in a bedroom.

British pro-shooting organisations have reacted to the news with concern. Robert Gray of the Countryside Alliance told Shooting Times: “Though this is not happening in the UK, some dangerous precedents could be set for future EU fi rearms legislation. There are uncomfortable echoes of politicians simply failing to learn the lessons of an awful tragedy, punishing some of the most law-abiding citizens in the country and not addressing the real reasons as to why this disaster could have happened.”

The rest of this article appears in 14 May issue of Shooting Times.

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