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Münster case: Where to store gun safe keys?

Gunfinder Magazine

How safe is the storage location for the gun safe key?

The Higher Administrative Court (OVG) of North Rhine-Westphalia in Münster yesterday (Ref.: 20 A 2384/20) determined how the key to a gun safe should be stored. "It should be stored in a container that meets the legal safety requirements for the storage of weapons and ammunition in the cabinet," the DJV explained.

In an exemplary case, a plaintiff stored the gun key in a 40 kg double-walled steel safe while on vacation. Many media reported. During a burglary, this safe was cracked by thieves, after which they easily opened the gun safe and stole two handguns.

As a result, the local authority revoked the plaintiff's licenses because he had violated the storage regulations.

The plaintiff unsuccessfully challenged this revocation at the Düsseldorf Administrative Court (Case No.: 22 K 3002/19) and appealed.

Although the OVG confirmed the incorrect storage location, it did not see this as a gross violation and ruled in favor of the plaintiff, finding the license revocation unlawful.

The Weapons Law Forum finds this regulation too restrictive. There are no clear requirements for the storage of gun keys, and the law does not explicitly require a combination lock for gun safes. Nor do previous legal texts and commentaries require the key to be stored in an equivalent container, and the legislation allows responsible owners some discretion.

It is noteworthy that a sturdy but uncertified cash box was considered appropriate elsewhere in the home.

Ensure security

On the other hand, storage under a sink or unsupervised on a key ring in the office was deemed inappropriate.

By following the OVG Münster's instructions, gun owners ensure safety. This type of storage may not be mandatory, but is considered advisable as it will certainly receive more attention in the future.

It is essential to ensure that no unauthorized person has access to the key.

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