Europeans are stocking up on guns to protect themselves in the wake of a mass influx of refugees. According to the NYPost both women and cops are getting guns to protect themselves after the New Year’s Eve sex attacks that rocked much of Europe.
Gun permit numbers nearly quadrupled in Germany and Austria after attacks took place in Cologne and Salzburg.
“Women customers include waitresses that need to get home in the evening, and women that walk dogs regularly in the evenings. We are also seeing some coming in to buy them for their daughters,” Gerhard Fuchs, a gunsmith in Innsbruck, Austria, told Central European News.
While some anti-gunners would say to just let the police officers take care of it, even 1,000 extra cops walking the streets would hardly be enough to deal with 200,000 refugees who have entered Austria over the last few months.
One in three criminals in Austria are foreigners, according to 2014 figures by the Interior Ministry. In Vienna, it was almost every other criminal.
In August, fewer than 10 people obtained a license to keep a handgun at home for self-defense, while the number soared into the hundreds in October.
Sixty percent of respondents in a poll commissioned by Viennese newspaper Heute said the influx of refugees is a cause for fear and unease.
Franz Dorfner, who owns a gun store in Vienna, said he has been unable to keep up with demand.
“I have completely sold out of pepper spray and have to wait at least a month before they can provide me with any more,” he told Central European News.
In Salzburg, where several sex attacks were reported, store owner Constanze Dorn said she too had run out of pepper spray.
“I have never experienced anything like it,” she said. “I have ordered several hundred more. I don’t know how long they will last.”
The demand for private bodyguard services also has skyrocketed.
Officials are telling women to just stay home and especially not to go out alone at night. But rather than feel like prisoners in their own communities more and more are deciding to arm up to defend themselves.
The public’s worries about the surge of immigrants were already heightened before the recent sex attacks.
Lisa Herdina, 28, who lives near Austria’s largest refugee camp at Traiskirchen, about 12 miles south of Vienna, told the mirror.co.uk in early December that she got a rifle.
“I keep my gun in my house because it gives me a feeling of safety, especially when I’m alone,” Herdina said. “My dog is great protection because he warns me every time anybody is anywhere near our house.”
On Saturday, hundreds of anti-Muslim demonstrators attacked cops in Cologne, carried signs reading, “Rapefugees Not Welcome” and shouted, “Merkel out” — denouncing the open-door policy of Chancellor Angela Merkel, who welcomed 1.1 million refugees and migrants to Germany in 2015.