The Alternative for Germany (AfD) party’s leader, Frauke Petry, has stressed that Islamist attacks and the July 22nd Munich shooting rampage stand as proof that German citizens need to be allowed to arm themselves for self-defence. Petry said she opposes new controls on weapons in the country as proposed by officials. She has intimated that it should easier for citizens to own guns for self-defence.
According to Reuters, Petry said, “Many people are increasingly feeling unsafe. Every law-abiding citizen should be in a position to defend themselves, their family and their friends. We all know how long it takes until the police can get to the scene, especially in sparsely populated places.”
Of course seconds count, even in densely populated areas where police response time is short. Breitbart News highlighted this following the July 22 Munich attack, when an eye witness who spotted the attacker said, “If I had a gun I would have shot him.”
Germany has some of the strictest gun control laws in Europe, including universal background checks and bans on entire categories of firearms.
The New York Times reports that would-be gun or ammunition owners must also obtain “a certificate that proves you know how to handle both the weapon and its ammunition. You must prove that you can store it safely, in a place to which only you, as the owner, have access.”
As a result of all these regulations, the process of acquiring a gun takes “several months.”
Yet many European leaders reacted to the Munich shooting by calling for even more stringent gun controls. Petry stands against this. She says more controls would only “affect respectable citizens and not those who acquire weapons in the so-called ‘dark net.'”
Petry has previously spoken out against the what she sees as top-down policing policy that prevents officers from using force necessary to fight crime. Reuters reports that she specifically “called for German police to be allowed to use firearms against illegal migrants.”