Markus Kaarma Could Be Prosecuted In Germany - News, Sports and Weather

Markus Kaarma Could Be Prosecuted In Germany

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On Friday, a German Consul sent a letter to Governor Steve Bullock saying their government could investigate and prosecute Markus Kaarma, who allegedly killed an exchange student, under German law.  Today, ABC Montana's Emily Foster compared and contrasted gun laws in Germany and the U.S., and learned there are several key differences between them.

"Some people here feel safe because they have a gun because they feel they can personally protect themselves, Germans feel safe because barely anybody has a gun." 

Henriette Lowisch, an associate professor at the School of Journalism at the University of Montana says in her home country of Germany, a gun culture does exist, but it involves law enforcement, hunting and shooting sports almost exclusively.
"Nobody carries or is allowed to carry a gun for self-defense."

Lowisch says it's also a multi-step permit process to purchase and own a firearm and ammunition.  
"First of all you have to explain why you want that gun, what you want it for, why do you think you need it."

German gun purchasers also have to pass a background check.

"You know, you have to be able to show that you're able to handle a gun safely, that you have a safe place to put it."

It's a much less restrictive process in Montana.  The National Rifle Association website shows under state law, a person does not need a permit to buy or possess a gun, but a permit is required to carry a concealed handgun.  

"It also is somewhat, a little bit scary maybe in the beginning to imagine that somebody else that you encounter on the street might have a gun."

And Montana citizens can own machine guns, weapons Lowisch says are classified as "weapons of war" in Germany.  

"Nobody is supposed to own them except the military."

Markus Kaarma's attorneys say Kaarma fired the shots that killed Diren Dede because he feared for his life.  They say when he is arraigned, he will enter a not guilty plea.
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