Small firearms ownership on the rise in Germany: whom are they arming against?

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February 5 , 2018 – FRN – 

KtovKurse – translated by Inessa Sinchougova

Two years have passed since the Chancellor of Germany accepted more than 1 million immigrants from the countries of the Middle East.

According to the German newspaper Handelsblatt, there is a growing demand for small firearms and non-lethal weapons, including gas pistols, torch and stun guns, and pepper spray.

In Germany, crimes involving weapons are relatively rare, but this issue is increasingly brought to the fore during political discussions.

The reason for it is the fast-growing pace of sales of weapons. The number of applications for obtaining a permit to carry small arms has reached new records.

In 2017, 557,560 people received a license. In 2016 – 300,949. 

After the Paris terrorist attacks in 2015 and sexual assault on women on New Year’s Eve in Cologne, demand for small arms soared.

“A wave of uncertainty has spread over Germany,” said Ingo Meinhard, director of the German Association of Weapons Dealers.

The feeling that the state can not sufficiently protect its citizens is growing and, therefore, they must protect themselves. This problem was similarly facilitated by the recent reduction of police forces, says Handelsblatt.

Some believe that the influx of refugees and migrants to Germany since 2015 is the reason for the deterioration of security. The number of suspects in crimes who are refugees, illegal migrants or asylum seekers, increased to 174,438 in 2016, which is 52.7% more than in the previous year. The Minister of the Interior Thomas de Mezier stated that “These figures are impossible to embellish.”

It is not difficult to obtain a license for a non-lethal weapon in Germany – the applicant must be 18 years of age, not be a previously documented criminal, alcoholic or drug addict, nor have a mental illness.

“The authorities are carefully studying the applicants,” Mr. Meinhardt said. “No one should be afraid of these people.” At least, they have not yet accused Putin of arming Germany!

However, Holger Stahlknecht, the state Interior Minister in Saxony-Anhalt, is not so sure. He is concerned about the current trend and warns that being armed with small arms can lead to a false sense of security.

“Obviously, people believe that they can buy security through a license. However, this sense of security is deceptive, since this weapon can escalate a situation and even be used against its owner.”

One thing is clear – Germany is becoming increasingly armed, in face of the ‘open door’ policy.   

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