The number of Belgians applying for firearms permits has skyrocketed, with applications in one major province more than doubling in just five years, according to the authorities.
“The trend is clear, the number of applications we’ve received for gun licenses has more than doubled in five years”, said Divisional Commissioner of the province of Liège, Thierry Brasseur.
The number of applications has steadily risen each year, jumping 117 % from 2010, when 608 permits were requested, to 1,318 in 2015, Explaining that the trend looks set to continue, the commissioner revealed that the province received 1,436 new applications in the last year, to December.
Liège’s Service of Arms, the state body in charge of granting gun licenses in the province, hinted that rising crime, and terror attacks in Europe are what’s fueling the “extraordinary enthusiasm” with which Belgians are lining up to buy firearms.
Speaking at a recent symposium, the department noted that “The explanation may lie in the current security context, which generates feelings of insecurity among the population”, the department told a recent symposium.
Another major contributor to Belgians’ anxiety, Le Soir reports, is the frequency which which burglaries and home invasions are taking place — 180 a day in 2015, in the country of less than 11.5 million people.
A similar trend can be seen in France, where shooting clubs have welcomed an additional 50,000 licensees since 2011 according to a survey by L’Obs — an increase of almost 40% — which has been reinforced in a spate of terror attacks in the country.
In the wake of mass sex attacks by migrant mobs in Cologne on New Year’s Eve 2016, major German cities all reported an influx of requests for weapons permits.
Cologne police estimated that they received at least 304 applications within just two weeks of the mass sexual assaults. In 2015 the city’s police force saw just 408 applications total over the entire year.
Gear up boys and girls, lets make things happen for the better.