Clarifying rod and gun policy
I’m writing to clarify information recently published in a letter to the editor about the Heidelberg Rod and Gun Club’s youth shooting policies ("Gun club rules make no sense," Feb. 19).
The bottom line is, the use of firearms at the Rod and Gun Club, whether by adults or juveniles, is governed by German firearms laws. U.S. forces personnel in Germany are required to comply with those laws, even on a military installation.
In the case of juveniles, the German weapons law states children 12-14 years old may shoot certain weapons at firing ranges, such as air guns and spring-operated devices, with parental supervision. Juveniles 15-17 years old are permitted to shoot firearms up to .22-caliber or single-shot long guns with a smooth-bore barrel up to 12 gauge if the person responsible for the child has given consent in writing or is present during the firing. Additionally, the on-site training supervisor must be certified to train juveniles. The law has provisions and exceptions that may apply in other situations, such as those undergoing training toward a German hunting license.
I sympathize with the letter writer’s position, but while living in Germany we must follow host nation laws. The Army doesn’t have the authority to make local policy more lenient than what is required by the host nation.
Lt. Col. Robert L. WhiteCommanderU.S. Army Garrison HeidelbergGermany