Conference in Potsdam: Weapons and protection from violence – Interior ministers explore agreement

Conference in Potsdam: Weapons and protection from violence – Interior ministers explore agreement
Conference in Potsdam: Weapons and protection from violence – Interior ministers explore agreement

At their conference in Potsdam, the interior ministers are not only discussing asylum policy. They are also exploring an agreement on the issues of weapons bans and tougher penalties for attacks on politicians.

Better prosecution of cyberbullying, tougher penalties for attacks on politicians and better protection against domestic violence – these are the issues that the interior ministers of the federal states want to advance alongside changes in asylum and migration policy.

At their meeting in Potsdam on Thursday, they also discussed an expansion of weapons-free zones with Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD). On Friday, the results of the Interior Ministers’ Conference in Potsdam, chaired by Brandenburg, are to be presented.

Federal Minister of the Interior calls for more weapons-free zones

Several states are demanding stricter gun laws and an expansion of gun-free zones. It remains unclear whether the states will be able to reach an agreement at the IMK. One issue being discussed is a nationwide regulation banning guns on trains and at train stations.

Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) said that gun-free zones are “a good tool” and that the federal government is currently using them at all train stations. “I would be grateful if this were also practiced on all station forecourts.” It would be good if the states discussed expanding the gun laws, said Faeser.

Better prosecution of cyberbullying sought

The interior ministers are pushing for the creation of a separate criminal offense for cyberbullying – that is, bullying that takes place on the Internet. According to a survey, an increasing number of young people in Germany are becoming victims.

Brandenburg’s Interior Minister and Chairman of the Conference of Interior Ministers (IMK), Michael Stübgen (CDU), told the dpa on Thursday: “We have many thousands, perhaps even hundreds of thousands of children and young people who are in a situation where they are constantly being slandered and insulted and cannot get out of the situation themselves.” But support here would also have to come from the Federal Ministry of Justice.

Harsher punishment for attacks on politicians

In addition, the interior ministers are debating a possible increase in penalties for attacks on politicians. Brutality, hatred and agitation, but also physical attacks, especially on volunteer politicians, are increasing, said Stübgen. An IMK motion from Bavaria calls for the penal code to be tightened so that such attacks are treated the same as attacks on the police in terms of punishment and assessment.

Attacks on politicians are also an attack on the state, said Stübgen. However, Federal Justice Minister Marco Buschmann (FDP) is convinced that the increasing aggression against politicians cannot be curbed with harsher punishments.

Plans for better protection against domestic violence

The federal and state governments are striving for more uniform regulations in Germany to better protect women from violence. This includes the wearing of electronic ankle bracelets when contact is prohibited for violent offenders and an obligation to prevent violence. “I also hope that we will come to clear decisions here in the Conference of Interior Ministers,” said Stübgen. So far, the measures in the federal states have varied, which, according to Stübgen, also leads to problems.

“The signals from the states that they want to act more uniformly and more jointly are very positive,” said Federal Minister of the Interior Faeser. “We must stop the spiral of violence. We need mandatory anti-violence training so that the perpetrators stop their aggressive behavior and actually change.” She is also advocating for the perpetrators to be monitored with an electronic ankle bracelet, because the police can intervene more quickly in an emergency.

Debate on investments in civil protection

In view of the changed threat situation since the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, strengthening civil protection was also on the extensive agenda of the IMK, which includes more than 100 points. “I am once again calling on the federal government to finally take the issue of civil protection seriously and to present a robust concept on this,” said Bavaria’s Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann (CSU) shortly before the start of the IMK.

Faeser said on Thursday that she had recently signed a contract for the purchase of 44 large transport helicopters, which will play a very important role in disaster protection. The cost: 1.9 billion euros. “This is a significant contribution that the federal government is making to civil protection.”

Source: Stern

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