Following Mass Murder, German Politicians Consider Adding Psychological Test to Own a Gun

The 43-year-old mass murderer killed 10 people with a Glock 17 before committing suicide. (Photo: CNN, screenshot)

After an attack last week in the German city of Hanau that left 11 people dead, German politicians have voiced support for adding a psychological test to the already onerous application process to own a firearm.

“After the violence in Hanau, we have to examine very seriously whether we need to readjust the weapons law,” Social Democrat Party interior affairs expert Helge Lindh told the newspaper, Die Welt.

“If It turns out that the authorities cannot sufficiently examine the psychological or personal suitability of gun owners, we must reform the law accordingly.”

The murderer opened fire around 10 p.m. at a shisha bar in an immigrant area of Hanau, a city near Frankfurt. He shot and killed three people at the first bar before driving to the second and killing five people. One additional person died at the hospital, and at least six people were injured.

The murderer was found dead at his apartment later that day along with his 72-year-old mother.

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Investigators believe the 43-year-old acted with racist motives. German authorities say the suspect showed signs of a “deeply racist mentality” based on videos and a manifesto he posted online, and he appears to have targeted an area of the city with a high concentration of immigrants.

He used a Glock 17 to carry out the attacks, and research network RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland (RND) reported on Thursday that he had legally purchased the gun.

He was required to undergo an application process already strict by American standards. Applicants who wish to shoot their firearms (as opposed to merely collect them) must obtain a weapons possession card to own or purchase a firearm and a weapons license to use it, according to Die Welt.

Applicants must also, among other things, prove that they have a “need” to own a firearm, pass hours of in-class and on-range training, be free from mental illness or substance abuse, and prove that their circumstances do not give reason to assume they will use weapons recklessly. Altogether, the costs for an application, including the required insurance, can cost around $540.

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Applicants under the age of 25 applying for their first gun license must submit a certificate of “mental aptitude” from a public health officer or psychologist. It’s unclear whether the 43-year-old suspect in last week’s attacks was required to submit a mental health certificate to own his firearm.

This supposed loophole appears to have spurred calls for stricter mental health screenings.

Irene Mihalic, domestic policy spokeswoman of the Green parliamentary group in the German parliament, told Die Welt that only those who have the “physical, cognitive and psychological aptitude for possessing firearms” should receive legal ownership permits.

Horst Seehofer, Federal Minister of the Interior of Germany, also demanded additional psychological tests in the form of a “medical report or confirmation” for holders of firearms permits.

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over six years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Tyler. Got a hot tip? Send him an email at

{ 13 comments… add one }
  • Phil June 19, 2020, 7:46 am

    At a recent town hall mtg., a member threatened physical harm to another council member during recess in front of the city attorney but not in the presence of the other member. Talk about psycho!

  • MikeRoss February 29, 2020, 5:36 pm

    The Germans have developed mind reading? Wow.

  • chumly February 28, 2020, 7:47 pm

    Where’s the psychological test before being able to run for political office?

  • Michael J February 28, 2020, 7:22 pm

    And I thought all the stupid people were in the U.S. Lets get those future criminal mass murderers tested right away.

  • dave brown February 28, 2020, 11:56 am

    Well being a gunner for over 50 years means I have seen some different kinds of Gun Control in our USA over those years. Read ur history, and The FFL System is Gun Control (which I hope we all want). WE have a lot of nuts on both the right and the left, which means we have a lot of nuts with guns and getting guns. I mean it and I don’t like shooting on a line as I don’t know what kind of nuts are there. Could be you, could be me. How about we cut the talk as the right and left are both full of it. Point: If The Right was I Love With Our Right to own a gun then why don’t they make it National Carry, and why don’t they make their Office Buildings Open to Carry. Why, I hate that would as it usually causes conflict, but Why Won’t The Right Do What They Say They Want? I Want them to as that way I will be legal carrying as I travel from state to state!

    • chinchbug February 28, 2020, 7:49 pm

      Thanks for sharing.

  • Bill February 28, 2020, 7:31 am

    Pretty soon you’ll have to go to a state sponsored reeducation camp for a year before they will allow you to have a firearm. In that time you’ll have been sufficiently brain scrubbed to have lost all racist thought.

  • Dr Motown February 28, 2020, 7:28 am

    No psych evaluation can ever predict what someone will do or become in the future….yet so many people have crazy faith in “laws” and “psychiatry” to prevent evil acts

  • Kris February 27, 2020, 10:30 am

    Just another wasteful unnecessary layer of bureaucracy thrown on just to give the appearance of doing something beneficial. The reason as to why this man did what he did will never be investigated because solving problems at the core is opposite what the government and the power that be want.

    • Justin February 28, 2020, 8:19 am

      Yes, they already require mental exams, and they did not work, so their solution is to add more wasteful laws that still don’t work.
      “If It turns out that the authorities cannot sufficiently examine the psychological or personal suitability of gun owners, we must reform the law accordingly.”

      Politicians should be required to undergo mental fitness exams, and criminal background checks before even being allowed to run for any public office.
      As it is now, they don’t have to pass anything to run for an office where they are more dangerous than any common criminal. The criminal politicians are the real danger to the public.

  • SuperG February 26, 2020, 10:12 am

    But they are not going to mention that he exhibited signs of mental illness well before he ran amok, as that would expose the fact that the mentally ill are ignored until they break a law. We do it too.

    • BR549 February 28, 2020, 7:31 am

      If anything, it would seem far more pressing to get ALL politicians to prove that they have the integrity to abide by their country’s constitution. Apparently, this problem of having to take an oath has proven to be only a minor obstacle for these moral amnesiacs..

  • Bobs your uncle February 26, 2020, 8:43 am

    Europe and gun control, hows that worked out for them, the last couple hundred years?

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