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Page last updated at 00:12 GMT, Saturday, 9 May 2009 01:12 UK

Germany moves to outlaw paintball

Paintballer. File photo
Berlin says games like paintball encourage violence

The German government says it plans to ban combat games such as paintball, in response to a recent school shooting.

The new measures being proposed to parliament also include tighter gun control rules and give officials the right to conduct checks on gun owners.

Anyone defying the proposed new rule could face a 5,000-euro (£4,474) fine.

Sixteen people, including the gunman, were killed in the school shooting in March. Relatives of the victims say the new measures do not go far enough.

'Biometric controls'

Under the proposed rules, the authorities would be given more right to ensure weapons are safely locked up.

A woman and girl grieve in Winnenden. Photo: 12 March 2009
The massacre at Albertville School shocked Germany

It is also thought that "biometric controls" for gun storage might be introduced, the BBC's Steve Rosenberg in Berlin reports.

That would mean that anyone owning and storing guns at home would need to use their own fingerprint to open the safe or cupboard, our correspondent says.

Berlin also plans to ban games like paintball and laser-tag that simulate killing on the grounds that they trivialise and encourage violence.

But relatives of those killed in the March attack in the town of Winnenden, near Stuttgart, are calling for an outright ban on pistols and high-calibre weapons.

"There cannot be a second Winnenden," Hardy Schober, whose daughter was killed in the attack, told a news conference in Berlin.



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