Prague, Oct 15 (CTK) – Czechs are buying firearms in fear of migrants though most of them do not want to stay in the Czech Republic and they only cross its territory quickly on their way westwards, daily Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) writes yesterday.
The police have registered a rise in the number of applications for a firearm licence, compared with 2014, mainly in the border regions of Usti (north Bohemia) and Zlin (south Moravia).
The paper writes that there were 290,000 firearm licence holders in the 10.5-million Czech Republic in June and and the Police Presidium registered 785,000 firearms.
The owners of the shops with arms and ammunition told MfD reporters that their clients most often cited their fears of refugees among the reasons why they would like to buy a firearm.
However, according to statistics, most applicants fail to pass the required exams, so only one in four can get the licence eventually, MfD writes.
This shows that even “complete laymen” who have never touched a firearm apply for the licence, it adds.
“Last year, up to four applicants for a firearm licence contacted us, while now it is ten to 15 a month. They want firearms for their personal protection. Many of them have fears of migrants, others live in ghettoes and are afraid of assaulters and drug addicts,” Vladimir Lavicka, an instructor and a shooting range owner, from the Usti region, told the paper.
Last year, 475 people applied for a firearm licence in the Usti Region, while this year it has been 557 to date, but only 114 have passed the exams.
The situation is similar in the Zlin region where the number of firearm licence applicants this year is almost the same as during the whole last year, MfD writes.
However, the number of people who want to buy a firearm has been rising in other regions, such as Central Bohemia, too.
The exams consist of a theoretical part, 485 questions that the applicant must learn, and a practical test of the firearm handling and shooting. They are followed by a medical examination. The police must also check whether the applicant has no criminal records, MfD writes.
It adds that the only chance to get a firearm licence is to pay for a course at a shooting range where a layman can learn how to dismantle and assemble a firearm.
Apart from firearms, the shop owners have also registered an increased demand for the weapons for which no licence is required and that can be sold freely to people under 18, such as airguns, gas pistols and percussion rifles.
Moreover, an arms shop owner has noticed that firearms owners order more rounds of ammunition than in the past, MfD adds.
The paper has also found out that scared people turn to security agencies over refugees more often. The Mark2Corporation security firm told MfD that the demand for its services had doubled of late.