Germany′s Bundestag to ban weapons from parliament | News | DW | 05.04.2019
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Germany's Bundestag to ban weapons from parliament

Until now, there were no rules for MPs about bringing guns or other weapons into the German parliament — but that's about to change. According to a report, a far-right AfD staff member was recently caught with a knife.

Germany's parliament is planning to ban weapons from all of its buildings following a series of recent security scares, according to a report published on Friday.

The Bundestag, Germany's low house of parliament, does not currently bar weapons or outline security measures in its house rules.

The parliament's security officers are tabling a draft to change the rules on April 10, according to the newspapers of the RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland (RND).

The amendment to the house rules states: "it is not permitted to bring weapons, ammunition, explosives, explosive substances, dangerous instruments."

The new rules will specifically forbid firearms, bows, crossbows, arrows, slingshots, catapults, toy guns, tasers, gasses and pepper sprays, as well as knives, news agency DPA reported.

Read more: Germany: Basic weapons licenses more than double

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AfD staffer brings blade

Currently, tourist groups and journalists are thoroughly screened at the entrances of the Bundestag — but some concerning cases have slipped through the cracks in recent months.

In March, an unknown individual managed to enter the Bundestag after being dropped off by a taxi in-between the main plenary building and another which houses MPs' offices. The person managed to walk into the Bundestag with a group of lawmakers before they were stopped and questioned.

One of the most eyebrow-raising cases involves the staff member of a far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) lawmaker who was caught with a knife in early February.

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Oberndorf, hometown of Heckler & Koch

The blade was uncovered on the AfD staff member while he was taking part in an official German parliament visit to European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans in Brussels.

Security officials there confiscated the blade due to its size, but the staff member claimed he always handed over the knife at the Bundestag gates, RND reported.

In March, news magazine Der Spiegel reported that lawmakers and their staff are allowed to bring knives with up to a 12 centimeter (4.7 inch)-long blade with them.

German media have also reported that the staff member of other parties have experienced threatening gestures and verbal abuse from AfD staff since the far-right party's arrival in parliament following the 2017 general election.

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