• Austria's news in English

Austrian cop denied right to carry gun off-duty

The Local · 2 Jan 2015, 13:53

Published: 02 Jan 2015 13:53 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The court was considering two requests -- one from a Tyrolean mountain guard, and the other from a regular police officer who normally carries a weapon when on-duty, according to a report in the Tiroler Tageszeitung newspaper on Monday.

In the case of the mountain guard, the district's Administrative Authority had already ruled that carrying a weapon while working as a 'mountain guard' was not required, and therefore the request was declined on the grounds of 'security risks.'  The court confirmed the decision by the authority.

The court did however give permission for the mountain guard to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court, in order to definitively decide whether mountain guards - whose main job is mountain rescue - faced special risks while carrying out their duties that might require the use of deadly force.

The court held that speculation and fears of possible threats were not in themselves enough to constitute a risk requiring mountain guards to be armed.

In the case of the policeman, the request for a private gun license involved threats from a Slovak man, who injured and threatened the policeman while the latter was carrying out his duties.

Story continues below…

Because the Slovak man was in possession of the policeman's phone number and home address, and due to receiving threatening calls and visits from the man, the policeman felt that he was justified in requesting access to a weapon while off-duty, to protect himself and his family.

The state's Administrative tribunal found that the policeman's statements were too vague and speculative.  They felt that this line of justification would apply not only to many police officers, but also to other officials working for local authorities.  Such workers would constantly be exposed to low-level threats and potentially hazardous situations - but if they were truly threatened, they could themselves call the police, who had the relevant training and experience to deal with such situations.

"The adoption of a requirement based on [such justification] would also mean that all employees of a police station, who would have to constantly deal with difficult parties, could request a gun for protection", said the court in its ruling.
Therefore, the court ruled that off-duty policemen do not have the right to carry a private weapon, even if they felt threatened.

For more news from Austria, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Hungarian woman crushed by snowcat piste machine
Snowcat machine. Photo: Melensdad/Wikimedia

A young Hungarian woman has died after being crushed by a snowcat piste machine on the Dobratsch mountain in Carinthia.

Austrian policeman sentenced over 'Heil Hitler' salute
Photo: Flickr

A policeman in Austria was sentenced on Thursday for shouting "Heil Hitler" at a driver during a traffic check at the Hungarian border in April.

Scary clown craze endangers crucial work of clown 'doctors'
Photo: Bojan Tavcar

Within the last couple weeks, disturbing events involving masked individuals has caught public attention in Austria.

Chimney sweep rescues lost mushroom picker
Photo: James Lindsey/Wikimedia

A 76-year-old Austrian man who went out mushroom picking almost froze to death after getting lost and spending the night in the forest.

Refugees sold into forced prostitution
File photo: UNHCR

Female refugees are being sold into forced prostitution in Austria, a police investigation into human trafficking has found.

Driverless bus takes a spin around Salzburg's old town
The Arma driverless shuttle bus. Photo: Navya

A driverless minibus has made a test journey in the city of Salzburg.

No jail time for asylum seeker who dumped baby in road
Photo: Paul Gillingwater

A man who grabbed his own child and dumped her in the middle of a busy road has been given a nine-month suspended sentence.

Freedom Party leader may face hate speech charges
Heinz-Christian Strache. Photo: Facebook/Personal

The leader of Austria’s Freedom Party may face charges of “hate speech” for posts made by other users on his Facebook page.

The Local List
Five Austrian films we promise won't make you depressed
Still from the comedy Was hat uns bloß so ruiniert.

With the Viennale film festival opening on Thursday, we thought it’s time to take a look at the best of Austrian cinema.

Clown scares passengers at Vienna’s Praterstern station
Generic photo: Graeme Maclean/Flick

The first “scary clown” has been spotted in Vienna - at the Praterstern train and metro station which is a known hotspot for crime and addicts.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 brilliant German words you won't find in English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Five films which will change your mind about Austrian cinema
Those surprising Austrians!
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
100 years since the last emperor's death
Afghani family's new home in Austria
Der you learn Deutsch?
Delighted by the light
Beware these passport scams
Of course we skipped Oarsch
Foodies rejoice at the choice!
Travel & Tourism
10 years after her escape from captivity
Surviving the Brexit for British expats
Day 2 of the World Bodypainting Festival 2016
Is Islam hostile to Western society?
Bodypainting festival in southern Austria
Europe's ice cream capital
Best Austrian beauty spots
Travel & Tourism
Three days in Vienna as a tourist
How to make friends in Austria
jobs available