Status: 11/15/2022 5:00 PM
It seems that many Germans want to arm themselves for fear of a power outage. Over-the-counter weapons that are easy to convert seem to be popular, eg SWRShow search. Security experts sounded the alarm.
A soft “clack” is produced when the bullet hits a tin can. The rain water that has collected in it is scattered. Nothing can disturb the peace and quiet of the small town of Odenwald on a Thursday afternoon. “You see, the gun is very weak indeed,” says the man with his finger on the trigger of his air rifle and a smile on his face.
Many people are familiar with the park in which this scene takes place. At least many are interested in guns. It belongs to Jörg Sprave, a middle-aged man of strong build with a full beard. He’s a reformer. In this garden he shoots weekly videos showing weapons he made himself: crossbows, pencil slingshots or toilet brush “guns”. He and his films are followed by millions of people on YouTube, which now have cult status in the Venice scene.
Airguns that are easy to convert
This time, however, Sprave does not offer a weapon that he made himself. It is a pneumatic gun of the American manufacturer, made in China. Sprave has brought it to the market in Germany and sells it in its online store – for 999 euros. And this despite the fact that he says of the rifle that it is “not a particularly good weapon.”
Because with this rifle, customers are not interested in accuracy, but in something completely different: It is said that it can be transformed in a few simple steps so that it is many times more powerful than a conventional air rifle. More dangerous. deadly.
Specifically, it is about pneumatic guns, the so-called pre-charged pneumatic weapons. According to the Weapons Act, adults may purchase these weapons without a permit if the energy does not exceed 7.5 joules. However, the guns are designed in such a way that, according to the seller, they can be converted in a few simple steps so as to achieve an energy of more than 200 joules, compared to a police revolver from the 1960s. The parts required for conversion are already included with the weapon when it is sold.
to me SWR-Full screen search format and the ARD political magazine Mainz Report I managed to get hold of such a weapon, which is not currently available from Sprave. In one experiment, they tested how easy it was to convert a weapon and how powerful it was afterwards – together with weapons expert Thomas Malcher. Although anyone of legal age can purchase a gun, anyone who converts it without special permission and then owns it is subject to prosecution.
With commercially available tools, a professional can modify a weapon in as little as 15 minutes. The only thing the weapon has in common with the harmless air rifle whose bullets ricochet easily off a tin can is its looks. After conversion, the bullet easily tears a large watermelon. “It’s dangerous, it’s deadly,” Malcher says. “It’s frighteningly easy, any normal person can do it the same way.”
Fear of civil war-like conditions
According to Sprave, it has already sold about 8,000 of these guns, and 2,000 of them have been delivered. “We can’t even begin to meet the demand,” Spreif says. But what motivates his customers to spend so much money on guns? An “extra sense of security” sure is. Apparently, the energy crisis and concerns about blackouts are playing a role.
Sprave customers seem to assume the worst. “The fact that public order is collapsing, that there is indeed a civil war-like situation in Germany, with a dysfunctional police force, with looting hordes,” says Spreif, describing his clients’ concerns. He himself thinks this is extremely unlikely, but he still sells weapons – without feeling guilty.
“Work with a pension saving,” as he calls it, especially since it’s completely legal. He had the weapons approved by the authorities, and when selling them and also in his videos he always indicates that diversion and subsequent possession without permission is prohibited. In addition, you only need to drive across the border to get “more dangerous weapons”.
request to the federal government
Michael Mertens of the police union is less relaxed about the sale of such weapons. “This weapon can kill people,” he says. He worries about how creative dealers will be in meeting the need for firearms since they are already outlawed. “It worked at the expense of security,” says the police officer. He talks about a legal loophole and calls on the federal government to close it. “If everyone thinks they have to take their rights into their own hands, we’ll soon be living in the Wild West again.”
on me SWRRequested, the Federal Ministry of the Interior will only refer to existing laws. Selling guns is legal, even if conversion parts are included. Special permits are required for conversion and subsequent ownership. So the federal government doesn’t seem to see a problem in the market. Good for Jörg Spave and his work. Because the following customers are already waiting for another batch of air rifles to arrive in Germany.