Mall shooting draws calls to tighten Germany's already strict gun laws
'We must continue to do all we can to limit and strictly control access to deadly weapons'
Germany may have some of the world's most stringent gun control laws, but some of the country's senior leaders are calling for tighter controls on weapon sales following Friday's shooting rampage in Munich.
"We must continue to do all we can to limit and strictly control access to deadly weapons," said Sigmar Gabriel, head of Germany's Social Democratic Party and the country's vice-chancellor, adding that gun control is an "important issue."
But at Munich's storied Hauptschuetzengesellschaft gun club, which dates back to 1406, gun enthusiast and board member Herrman Todt cast doubt on tightening the country's firearms legislation.
"If I want to buy a weapon in an illegal way, I can do it. Making the current laws tougher will not change anything for someone who can buy a gun on the black market," Todt said at the club's shooting range, just a few kilometres from the shopping mall and McDonald's where nine people were killed Friday evening.
Munich police say there is evidence that the 18-year-old perpetrator of Friday's shooting attack purchased the 9-millimetre Glock pistol via the dark web, a parallel World Wide Web which cannot be accessed via traditional search engines.
Mandatory psychiatric testing
Germany's gun control laws were enhanced after school shootings in Erfurt in 2002, in which 16 people were killed, and Winnenden in 2009 that left 15 dead.
Germany is the only county that requires those under 25 to undergo a psychiatric evaluation before purchasing a firearm.
German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere, noting that Germany's gun laws were already strict, promised a review to determine how the Munich attacker obtained his firearm.
"Then we have to evaluate very carefully if and where further legal changes are needed," de Maiziere told the German tabloid Bild.
German media reports have identified the attacker as David Sonboly, who was born in Munich and held dual German and Iranian citizenship.
Police say Sonboly suffered from mental illness and had received psychiatric treatment in the months before he carried out the rampage.
Sonboly killed himself about one kilometre away from the scene of the shooting, investigators say.
City still reeling
Munich residents continue to visit the shopping mall, where memorials to victims, comprising flowers, candles and handwritten notes, grow larger by the hour.
Most stand in silence for a few moments, to remember the nine people killed — all but one of them young, aged 14 to 20. Some wipe tears from their eyes, evidence of a city, and country, still reeling from the attack.
In church services across the city, prayers are being said for those who perished and for the community as it begins to heal.
"On this day we remember that Jesus is forgiving us and that he is supporting us in those hard times," said Hans-Georg Plaschek, the senior priest at Munich's Frauenkirche cathedral.
Plascheck continued, "This is why we demonstrate compassion with the victims, the dead and the wounded, physically and mentally, and, even if it might be hard also, with the perpetrator."
Many Munich residents have reacted to the shootings with a mixture of shock and grief. But for others, there is resolve to move forward.
"Maybe we are a little bit more cautious about what exactly do we do, but we will not let the attackers change our lives," said Eckart Quarze, who attended the church service with his family.
"We will still live our lives and we think this life and freedom and this democracy that we have here needs to be defended against those crazy individuals."