People who support the "wrong" party, can't own guns in Germany. (Photo by Arnd Wiegmann/Getty Images)


AfD members not allowed to own guns, German court rules


Those with connections to Germany’s Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) party are not allowed to own firearms, according to a decision by a Düsseldorf Administrative Court.

In its ruling on July 1, the court determined that members of political parties suspected of harbouring anti-constitutional sentiments should be classified as “unreliable” under firearms legislation.

As a result, the court dismissed lawsuits filed by two AfD party members, a married couple, who had their weapons possession permits revoked.

Under the ruling, they have to surrender or destroy their firearms and ammunition although they can still appeal the court’s decision.

The man has 197 weapons in his possession and the woman 27.

“Membership of a party that is suspected of anti-constitutional tendencies alone regularly leads to the presumption of unreliability under weapons law according to the applicable strict standards of weapons law,” the court said.

“Even if the party has not been banned by the Federal Constitutional Court on the grounds of unconstitutionality.

“For the assessment of whether such anti-constitutional tendencies exist, the assessment of the offices for the protection of the Constitution is a weighty indication.

“The federal party AfD was classified as a suspected case by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, which was confirmed by the Higher Administrative Court for the State of North Rhine-Westphalia … The chamber has agreed with this.”

Such strict interpretation of gun laws did not violate party privilege as enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution, according to the Administrative Court.

Its ruling emphasised that background checks for firearm licences were conducted on an individual basis and Article 21 did not shield political parties.

The court went on to state that party rights were not violated even “if civil servants or soldiers are subjected to disadvantages, up to and including dismissal from service, if they support a party that is not prohibited but is hostile to the Constitution”.