Cops have seized a bazooka, TNT, grenades, 35 guns and over 600 kilogrammes of ammunition after a retired sports shooter died and his family discovered his secret arsenal.
The incident took place at a flat in Herborn, in the Lahn-Dill district in the state of Hesse, Germany, with the authorities saying the stash was completely illegal, not least because the deceased owner, unnamed, had given up his gun ownership licences years ago.
Stunned officials found rifles, pistols, grenades, an incendiary bomb, a bazooka and TNT explosives, with some of the items said to date back to World War II.
Newsflash obtained a statement from the Lahn-Dill-Kreis District authorities on Thursday, 20th July, saying: “It is one of the largest weapons and ammunition finds in the Lahn-Dill district for several years.
“A man had privately collected around 600 kilogrammes of ammunition and 35 weapons over a period of probably many years – without being in possession of the appropriate permit.
“Although the man was a former marksman. and therefore also a gun owner, he had given up his gun license a long time ago.
“He had proven to the authorities that the legal weapons registered to him had been handed over.”
But the statement added: “After his death, his bereaved family found a large collection in his apartment. In addition to empty cartridge cases and New Year’s Eve fireworks, the employees of the regulatory and commercial law service also found live ammunition, rifles, pistols, grenades, an incendiary stick, a rocket launcher, detonating cords and TNT.
“In addition to the employees who had called in a weapons expert, the criminal police and the State Criminal Police Office of Hesse (LKA) were also busy with the find in a district of Herborn.”
The LKA secured the dangerous ammunition, which falls under the War Weapons Control Act, on site.
The rifles, pistols, ammunition and more were taken to the armoury of the Lahn-Dill district to be sorted.
The employees secured 35 weapons and weapon parts, 196.4 kilogrammes of live ammunition, 39 kilogrammes of blank cartridges and 34.8 kilogrammes of percussion caps.”
The Lahn-Dill district explained that it was not uncommon for people to find weapons in the countryside there.
They said that “in particular, people keep finding what they are looking for in the forest”.
They said that “during World War II, the Allies fought there against German Wehrmacht soldiers and also dropped incendiary bombs from the air to drive the soldiers out of the forests.
“A number of the recently seized weapons finds apparently date from this period. Some cartridge cases and revolvers were badly rusted.
“The possession of these so-called archaeological finds is almost always subject to criminal prosecution.
“This means that these found weapons and ammunition may under no circumstances be picked up and taken with you.”
They said that a number of weapons, including bazookas and grenades, could still be dangerous, even if they have been buried in the ground for years.
Rust also makes them unstable and anyone who comes across such items should not handle them themselves, they said.
They added: “If you find something like this, it’s best to call the police immediately.”
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