A growing number of German citizens are applying for permits to carry guns amid escalating violent crime in the country.
In today’s Germany, around 640,000 citizens are legally permitted to carry a firearm.
This figure has grown massively since 2014 when there were just 260,000 citizens with permits to carry a gun.
Voiceofeurope.com reports: That’s nearly a 250 percent increase in just five years.
Die Welt reports that these figures were able to see the light of day thanks to a survey that was conducted by regional daily, Rheinische Post, at the interior ministries of all 16 federal states.
According to the data obtained, in the last year alone, the increase in small firearm licenses rose about 9 percent compared to the same period last year.
Per capita, the number of firearm owners is highest in Schleswig-Holstein (9.6 per 1000 inhabitants), and in Saarland (9.2). The number of individuals who hold a small gun license has reportedly been rising for years.
“Other statistics show that as of January 2016, exactly 300 949 Small Weapons Cards had been issued, compared to 557 560 by the end of 2017. That’s an 85 percent increase in just under two years. If you hold this firearm license, you may carry Signal, Irritant, and Weapon Firearms in public,” Die Welt reports.
The Union of Police (GdP) believe that the primary reason that’s driving the trend is a “latent feeling of insecurity” in the population.
“Ever since the events on the Cologne cathedral plate in the New Year’s Eve 2015, more and more people seem to feel insecure,” said GdP chairman Oliver Malchow.
As many are already well aware of, Cologne’s New Year’s Eve celebrations saw mass sexual assaults of German women by North African and Middle Eastern men. In total, there were at least 24 alleged rapes and numerous thefts that occurred, mostly in Cologne’s city center.
“The problematic increase in small arms licenses shows that we need to work to restore a sense of security to many citizens,” Malchow said.
“A first important step is more police presence on the road” he added.
Currently, around 5.4 million weapons of differing categories are owned by private citizens in Germany. That amounts to 66 weapons per 1000 inhabitants.