Germans are arming themselves with self defense weapons in the aftermath of recent terror attacks around the world and the influx of new migrants from the Middle East.
In reaction to increasing crime and an ever-present terror threat many German citizens have turned to weapons such as pepper spray, a report from the Gatestone Institute found.
"Germans, facing an influx of more than one million asylum seekers from Africa, Asia and the Middle East, are rushing to arm themselves," the report said. "All across Germany, a country with some of the most stringent gun-control laws in Europe, demand is skyrocketing for non-lethal self-defense weapons, including pepper sprays, gas pistols, flare guns, electroshock weapons and animal repellents. Germans are also applying for weapons permits in record numbers."
The institute reported that sales of pepper spray have increased as much as 600 percent in recent months. It also found that the permits required to carry those non-lethal self-defense weapons had increased dramatically. In the German state of Schleswig-Holstein small weapons licenses are at an all-time high. The same is true in Bavaria. In Berlin they have increased 30 percent in the first 10 months of the year. The report found similar trends across the country.
"Things took off beginning in September. Since then, our dealers have been totally overrun,"Kai Prase, CEO of Frankfurt-based company DEF-TEC Defense Technology, said."We have never experienced anything like this in the 21 years of our corporate history. Fear: This is not rational. The important term is: ‘refugee crisis.'"
The Gatestone Institute said the rise in violent crime associated with migrants has fueled the sales spike.
"The spike in violent crimes committed by migrants has been corroborated by a confidential police report leaked to a German newspaper," the report said. "The document reveals that a record-breaking 38,000 asylum seekers were accused of committing crimes in the country in 2014. Analysts believe this figure — which works out to more than 100 crimes a day — is only a fragment: many crimes are not reported."
The Germans buying up all of the self-defense weapons legally available to them are concerned about their safety, and the safety of their loved ones, as rape and other violent crimes increase throughout the country.
"I think it is fundamentally proper for me to protect my daughter," a woman from the Thuringa, Germany said. "She is at that age where she is out alone in the evening. If she says she needs this for protection, I think this is not unjustified. Of course, due to the current situation that we now have in Germany we just do not know who is here. There are quite a lot of people who are not registered."