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Germany chancellor urges stricter gun law enforcement in wake of shooting

[JURIST] German Chancellor Angela Merkel [BBC profile] said in a radio interview [transcript, in German] Sunday that the German government must more strictly enforce its gun-control laws. Merkel's comments came less than a week after 17-year-old Tim Kretschmer shot and killed 16 people [AP reports] in southern Germany. Authorities believe Kretschmer obtained the gun he used in the shooting from an unsecured place in his parents' house. Under German law, stored guns must be locked [DW report] in safes. Merkel asked parents and educators to be vigilant in keeping guns out of children's hands and mentioned the possibility of random checks to make sure weapons are properly stored.

Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble [BBC profile] said last week that tightening Germany's gun-control laws would not eliminate youth gun violence [Reuters report]. Schaeuble called Germany's gun-control laws among the world's strictest [Reuters report]. In 2002, one house of Germany's parliament adopted a measure [CNN report] that required airgun owners to be licensed. That same day, a 19-year-old gunman shot and killed 17 people in Erfurt, though the shooting and legislation did not appear to be related. The German Police Union has said Germany's gun-control laws have not been properly enforced. Lawyers have said Kretschmer's father could be liable [Sunday Herald report] if it is shown he improperly stored the gun that Kretschmer eventually used in the shooting.

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