A German court denies weapons permit to a special forces soldier who served in Afghanistan

BERLIN (AP) — A German court ruled Wednesday that a special forces soldier who believes he is at risk of attacks by jihadi extremists because he served in Afghanistan isn't entitled to a private weapons permit.

The 42-year-old soldier, whose name the court didn't release, first applied for a permit to carry a weapon in 2016. His request was rejected by police. He appealed that decision successfully to a court in the western town of Minden, but regional authorities appealed and a higher administrative court in Muenster on Wednesday ruled against the soldier.

The plaintiff is a member of the German military's KSK special forces unit and served several times in Afghanistan.

The Muenster court ruled that people who fear attacks are only entitled to a weapons permit “if they demonstrate that they are significantly more endangered than the general public.”

But it said that the plaintiff failed to show that, and there was no evidence either that KSK members are at significantly elevated risk or that he had been identified as a target by Islamist groups. It said it also couldn't establish that carrying a firearm would serve to reduce any such risk.

German forces pulled out of Afghanistan along with other Western forces in 2021 after nearly two decades.