Strict German gun laws failed to prevent tragedy

Some of the toughest firearms laws in the world wasn't enough to prevent a teen’s killing spree

After 16 people (including the 17 year-old gunmen) died today in a school shooting near Stuttgart, Germany, the country will likely debate its gun laws despite them being among the toughest in the world. Today’s slaughter was only the latest school massacre in a country still reeling from the deaths in Erfurt in 2002 (17 people died), and a previous shooting in 2006 when an 18-year-old in Emsdetten injured 37 people before committing suicide. You must be 18 to buy a handgun and 21 to purchase a semi-automatic weapon in Germany—anyone wanting either must have a firearms ownership license. Citizens who are labeled as aggressive or have a criminal conviction on their record can’t legally buy a gun in Germany. Police sources have confirmed that one of the 18 firearms the shooter’s father kept at home was missing.

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