German customs seizes illegal US firearm accessories | News | DW | 07.06.2019
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German customs seizes illegal US firearm accessories

German customs officers have stopped a shipment of illegal weapons accessories from the US to Austria. German law forbids equipment designed to make firearms more accurate and thus more dangerous.

Half a ton of accessories for firearms sent from the US and destined for Austria were seized by German customs authorities in late May after it was ascertained that the necessary permits for the consignment were missing, a customs spokeswoman said on Friday.

The consignment, which included a "varied range of equipment for firearms," was to have been cleared at Frankfurt Airport for transport by truck to an arms dealer in Austria, said Christine Strass.

She said that the items seized included laser sights, tactical lights and pistol grips with integrated lasers. Laser systems and tactical lights, which are used to improve a weapon's aim by directing a beam at the target, are banned as illegal arms under German law, while pistol grips are seen as banned weapons components, she said.

Read more: Swiss voters favor tightening gun laws

Making weapons more dangerous

"Such weapons accessories greatly increase the accuracy of and thus the danger posed by the actual firearm. For this reason, the law has classed such special pieces of equipment, which are actually only accessories, as 'banned weapons' as well," Strass said.

The rest of the consignment consisted of various other sights, rangefinders, telescopes and minor components. Although they are not banned under German law, they were not accompanied by correct documentation and were not passed for that reason, according to Strass.

Germany and the EU have strict laws on gun ownership that require owners of firearms to fulfill stringent criteria.

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