Neues Schloss, the old residence of the King of Baden-Württemberg, now a seat of several ministries , Source: Bruno Kelzer / Unsplash

Baden-Württemberg municipalities will be able to set up weapons-free zones

Baden-Württemberg municipalities will be able to set up weapons-free zones

The move is supposed to help reduce knife crime in cities like Stuttgart, Freiburg and Mannheim

Today, authorities in the German Federal State of Baden-Württemberg announced new legislation which allows municipalities to set up weapons-free zones. The legislation was first proposed at the start of September as a way to reduce knife crime in the state.

As the SWR reports, the legislation would apply mainly to different varieties of knives. Cities, however, cannot apply the ban on a whim. Instead, it can only be used in spaces where a lot of people gather or in zones deemed a ‘knife-crime hotspot’. On the other hand, these designations can be applied via crime analysis by the local police departments.

Cities are interested in the legislation

According to data from the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of the Interior, last year there were around 14,900 violent crimes in the state involving a knife, while 24 of those ended with a fatality. Additionally, 40% of all aggressive crimes, robberies, physical harm and etc, happen in public spaces.

At the same time, violent crimes involving knives have gone down by around 10% in 2021, compared to 2020. Only 1,000 cases involved serious or dangerous bodily harm, followed by 340 cases of extortion or robbery, 141 cases of attempted murder and manslaughter and 18 crimes against sexual self-determination.

Stuttgart authorities are some of the first to show interest in the policy. Other larger cities in Baden-Württemberg that are interested in the ban include Mannheim and Freiburg.

The ban should prevent people from carrying knives with a fixed or lockable blade of more than four centimetres. Violators could be liable for a fine as high as 100,000 euros, while the city council would ultimately decide on the size of the zones, as well as the hours they apply.



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