Germany′s weapons amnesty ′a huge success′ in Bavaria | News | DW | 07.08.2018
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Germany's weapons amnesty 'a huge success' in Bavaria

Bavarian authorities collected nearly 15,000 weapons during Germany's year-long weapons amnesty to reduce the number of illegal weapons. However, the amnesty was not as successful as the one in 2009.

Bavaria's interior ministry announced on Monday that it collected 13,485 firearms and 1,371 other weapons during Germany's year-long weapons amnesty, which ended on July 1.

More than a third of those weapons were possessed illegally, the ministry said. In 47 cases weapons of war — the possession of which is prohibited — were surrendered to weapons authorities and police forces.

Bavaria's tally was more than 40 percent more than any other state in Germany, according to research conducted by the newspaper Neues Deutschland.

Read more: Amid concerns over public safety, Germans are buying more weapons

"Illegal weapons and legal weapons that the owners didn't need any more were handed in. Some were inherited by owners by chance. Every weapon that is not in really good hands, legally by authorities or hunters, should be withdrawn. It was therefore a huge success overall," Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann said, quoted by Bavarian broadcaster Bayerische Rundfunk.

In May 2017, the Bundestag instituted a one-year weapons amnesty until July 1 of this year in an attempt to decrease the number of illegal weapons. Those in possession of an illegally owned weapon could turn it into the authorities.

Read more: Ganja or guns: Germans forced to choose between medicinal marijuana and firearms

Less than 2009

Though the amnesty yielded tens of thousands of illegally owned weapons, the total — the exact number of which is not yet known — pales in comparison to a similar amnesty in 2009.

During the 2009 amnesty, German authorities across the country collected more than 200,000 weapons, around a quarter of which were illegally owned. In Bavaria, the number of surrendered weapons was around 34,000, more than double this time around.

Authorities in North Rhine-Westphalia amassed more than 40,000 weapons in the 2009 amnesty, but only around 5,500 this year. "Most people supposedly already handed in their illegal weapons in 2009," a spokesman of NRW's interior ministry told ARD in June.

The 2009 weapons amnesty was in response to a shooting at a school in Winnenden, a small town near Stuttgart. A 17-year-old killed 15 people before committing suicide.

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