Earlier in 2016, the crisis led Austria to “began limiting the number of asylum applications it would receive.” But gun sales began to skyrocket prior to this move being made.
According to The Local, the number of weapons permits issued in Vienna and Styria in particular in September 2015 more than “quadrupled in November (2015).” This is an indicator of the number of Austrians seeking out firearms for self-defense.
And the increased demand for firearms has continued. On December 18, 2016, the UK’sExpress reported that Jeffrey Pang—an employee of Joh Springer’s, Austria’s oldest gun store—said the buying “surge in firearm sales coincided with reports of robberies, rapes and break-ins since the migrant crisis began.” He added, “Following the rise in attacks, customers want pepper sprays, combat training, small concealed carry weapons.”
“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,” Pang said.
The Express indicates that Pang and others, like attorney Anna K, were interviewed by NRATV about the sharp increase in firearm purchases. Anna said she was “very open to the migrants” when the process began, then realized “it was very dangerous” for Austrians after only a few months.
“Ten years ago, it was no problem to go running in the park or go home by metro,” Anna said. “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.”