THERE has been a surge in firearm sales in Austria since the migrant crisis in Europe, with some citizens now reporting they “feel like foreigners” in their own country.
Gun stores have reported a quadruple growth in the sales of firearms, with some owners attributing the sales to a spike in violent crime.
During an interview with NRATV, Jeffrey Pang, who works for Austria’s oldest firearms store, linked the rise in the self-defence market to “the immigrant crisis in Europe”.
He said the surge in firearm sales coincided with reports of robberies, rapes and break-ins since the migrant crisis began.
The employee at the firearm store Joh Springers added: “Following the rise in attacks, customers want pepper sprays, combat training, small concealed carry weapons. ”
Mr Pang said the biggest growth market for gun owners was among women who felt unsafe outside.
He said: “Our security level has diminished in the last couple months.
“You see the crowds They’re shouting, they’re drinking, there is no security anymore.”
Anna K, an Austrian lawyer, told the same programme that at first she was “very open to the migrants”.
She added: “After just a few months I realised it was very dangerous for us.
“Ten years ago, it was no problem to go running in the park or go home by metro. But not now, I don’t feel safe anymore.
“I never thought about having to defend myself, I did not think it was necessary. But I felt myself as a foreigner in my own country.”
Earlier in 2016 Austria began limiting the number of asylum applications it would receive as well as encouraging nearby Balkan nations to close their southern borders.
Norbert Hofer, a far-right presidential candidate, who campaigned against mass migration, recently lost the presidential election in Austria.
In January a report from The Local stated the number of weapon permits issued in Vienna and Styria, the second largest of Austria’s nine federated states, for pistols and revolvers had quadrupled.
In the city go Graz the number of weapon permits was reported to have doubled in 2015 compared to the year before.
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