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
- Drunk driver impersonates cop (22 Dec 14)
- Armed police called to Turkish wedding brawl (29 Sep 14)
- Fake policemen 'investigated' prostitutes (22 Sep 14)
- Suicidal man shot himself with cop's gun (17 Sep 14)
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.
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.