German court bans members of popular right-wing party from owning guns

Jul 8, 2024 | U.S. | 0 comments

A German court has effectively banned all members of the Alternative for Germany (AFD) party from owning firearms.

The AFD is a right-leaning populist party that — like Marine Le Pen’s National Rally party in France — has grown increasingly popular despite a concerted suppression campaign by the leftist German establishment, which has sought to ban, vilify, and criminalize the AFD outright.

The party was founded in 2013 by free market economists keen to strengthen German sovereignty and enraged by the European Union’s bailout of Greece and other debtor nations. Over time, the AFD attracted the ire of leftists over its members’ criticism of mass migration, open borders, gender ideology, climate alarmism, Islamization, and the European slide toward continental post-nationalism.

The AFD emphasized in its 2017 manifesto, “We believe in direct democracy, the separation of powers, the rule of law, social market economics, subsidarity, federalism, family values, and Germany cultural heritage.”

Clearly, something about the party has begun to resonate with Germans in recent years. After all, the AFD gained six seats and placed second with 15.9% of the national vote in the European parliamentary elections last month, handily beating German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s establishment Social Democratic Party. According to Reuters, the party’s membership has also grown by 60% since January 2023.

The German powers that be have worked to neutralize the AFD’s gains at the polls.

In the wake of the AFD’s strong electoral showing last month, a Bavarian court ruled that the country’s domestic intelligence agency could surveil a regional association of the party as a suspected extremist group. In certain German states, such as Saxony and Thuringia, the party had already been classified as a “right-wing extremist” group.

Last week, leftist activists successfully petitioned to de-bank the AFD. Deutsche Welle reported that the AFD’s donation account had been deactivated and that the Berliner Volksbank confirmed its receipt of the leftists’ petition.

The AFD will not only find it difficult to raise money but find it impossible to raise firearms in self-defense against the kinds of savage attacks an AFD politician suffered in early June.

‘Membership in a party suspected of anti-constitutional activities regularly leads to the presumption of unreliability.’

The 22nd Chamber of the Düsseldorf Administrative Court revealed on July 1 that membership in the AFD precludes German citizens from owning firearms. This ruling is at odds with another regional court’s determination last year that suspicion of a party’s elements does not alone justify the revocation of members’ firearm licenses.

According to an English translation of a court release, the chamber determined that “membership in a party suspected of anti-constitutional activities regularly leads to the presumption of unreliability under gun law under the applicable strict standards of gun law, even if the party has not been banned by the Federal Constitutional Court on the grounds of unconstitutionality.”

The case centered on a married couple associated with the AFD whose permits to keep their combined 224 firearms were revoked. They have since been ordered to hand over or destroy their firearms as well as any related parts or ammunition.

The administrative court claimed that its ruling did not violate Article 21 of Germany’s Basic Law, which permits for the free establishment of political parties but apparently does not protect against any disadvantages for parties deemed undesirable.

The administrative court has reportedly enabled the couple to appeal the decision to the Higher Administrative Court in Münster.

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A German court has effectively banned all members of the Alternative for Germany (AFD) party from owning firearms.

The AFD is a right-leaning populist party that — like Marine Le Pen’s National Rally party in France — has grown increasingly popular despite a concerted suppression campaign by the leftist German establishment, which has sought to ban, vilify, and criminalize the AFD outright.

The party was founded in 2013 by free market economists keen to strengthen German sovereignty and enraged by the European Union’s bailout of Greece and other debtor nations. Over time, the AFD attracted the ire of leftists over its members’ criticism of mass migration, open borders, gender ideology, climate alarmism, Islamization, and the European slide toward continental post-nationalism.

The AFD emphasized in its 2017 manifesto, “We believe in direct democracy, the separation of powers, the rule of law, social market economics, subsidarity, federalism, family values, and Germany cultural heritage.”

Clearly, something about the party has begun to resonate with Germans in recent years. After all, the AFD gained six seats and placed second with 15.9% of the national vote in the European parliamentary elections last month, handily beating German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s establishment Social Democratic Party. According to Reuters, the party’s membership has also grown by 60% since January 2023.

The German powers that be have worked to neutralize the AFD’s gains at the polls.

In the wake of the AFD’s strong electoral showing last month, a Bavarian court ruled that the country’s domestic intelligence agency could surveil a regional association of the party as a suspected extremist group. In certain German states, such as Saxony and Thuringia, the party had already been classified as a “right-wing extremist” group.

Last week, leftist activists successfully petitioned to de-bank the AFD. Deutsche Welle reported that the AFD’s donation account had been deactivated and that the Berliner Volksbank confirmed its receipt of the leftists’ petition.

The AFD will not only find it difficult to raise money but find it impossible to raise firearms in self-defense against the kinds of savage attacks an AFD politician suffered in early June.

‘Membership in a party suspected of anti-constitutional activities regularly leads to the presumption of unreliability.’

The 22nd Chamber of the Düsseldorf Administrative Court revealed on July 1 that membership in the AFD precludes German citizens from owning firearms. This ruling is at odds with another regional court’s determination last year that suspicion of a party’s elements does not alone justify the revocation of members’ firearm licenses.

According to an English translation of a court release, the chamber determined that “membership in a party suspected of anti-constitutional activities regularly leads to the presumption of unreliability under gun law under the applicable strict standards of gun law, even if the party has not been banned by the Federal Constitutional Court on the grounds of unconstitutionality.”

The case centered on a married couple associated with the AFD whose permits to keep their combined 224 firearms were revoked. They have since been ordered to hand over or destroy their firearms as well as any related parts or ammunition.

The administrative court claimed that its ruling did not violate Article 21 of Germany’s Basic Law, which permits for the free establishment of political parties but apparently does not protect against any disadvantages for parties deemed undesirable.

The administrative court has reportedly enabled the couple to appeal the decision to the Higher Administrative Court in Münster.

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