Austrian citizens are rushing to purchase firearms out of fear and self-defense amid an influx of migrants coming into their country.
Nearly all shotguns are sold out because there is no permit required to purchase them, according to arms dealer in Upper Austria. For all other firearms, however, a license is required, which in turn means courses to become licensed are now taking place weekly, instead of every five weeks.
Local media say it’s the sheer number of refugees, plus the fear of break-ins, that’s driving the huge increase in demand. And leading the surge, much like in the U.S., is women, gun dealers report.
Czech Independent TV also reported on the arms upsurge. As of Monday most rifles in the country are out of stock.
The daily paper Heute reported recently: 'The cash registers are currently ringing loud at local gun dealers.
'Figures of the Ministry of the Interior prove it: more and more people are buying guns and rifles.'
A Central weapon register was introduced in June 2014 to record all legal firearm sales.
This year over 14,000 new weapons have been purchased.
Dealers reported that women are also driving up sales of pepper spray because of their fears for personal security in the midst of the great migration of refugees heading to Germany.
'We cannot complain about a lack of demand,' said Stephan Mayer, a gun merchant.
'People want to protect themselves.
'The most common purchasers of arms are primarily Austrian women who are also buying tear [pepper] sprays, which are much in demand.'
'Because of the social change, people want to protect themselves,' one arms dealer told the broadcaster oe.24.