November 25, 2008 / 4:14 PM / 10 years ago

Man with gun under pillow forfeits licence

BERLIN (Reuters) - A German man who slept with a loaded revolver under his pillow has lost his gun license after a court ruled it to be irresponsible behavior.

A bed is seen in an undated image. REUTERS/File

The 56-year-old was stripped of his license for failing to store the weapon properly, Braunschweig administrative court judge Torsten Baumgarten told Reuters Tuesday. The gun was only discovered by chance during a police inspection.

“His home was being checked because he had threatened to throw a hand grenade if the city council approved plans to build a high-voltage power line in his neighborhood,” Baumgarten said. “The decision to take his license was made independently.”

Baumgarten said the ruling, which sets a legal precedent in Germany, in effect outlaws sleeping on top of a firearm — because the owner of the gun is not in control of the weapon and is therefore putting himself and others at risk.

“Anyone could come along and take the gun away from him, his wife for example,” Baumgarten said. The man, who also owned several other weapons, said he kept the gun under his pillow because he feared burglars.

Reporting by Josie Cox; Editing by Charles Dick

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