THE leader of a new and increasingly popular anti-immigrant political party in Germany has called for a relaxation of gun laws to allow ‘law-abiding citizens’ to arm themselves against the threat of extremist attacks.
Alternative for Germany now boasts seats in half of the country’s 16 state assemblies and polls at around 15 per cent, making it the third most popular party, a position looking set to strengthen ahead of federal elections in 2017.
“Many people are increasingly feeling unsafe. Every law-abiding citizen should be in a position to defend themselves, their family and their friends,” said Frauke Petry in an August 20 interview.
“We all know how long it takes until the police can get to the scene, especially in sparsely populated places,” she added.
Although yet to suffer an organised terrorist strike, a fate shared by both Belgium and France this year, Germany has experienced a wave of lone-wolf attacks over the summer, and tensions remain high as a significant proportion of the refugee population struggles to integrate.
At present Germans who want a firearms license must demonstrate a pressing reason for needing a weapon, but Petry wants to relax the laws and also invest police with more discretion in the use of their guns when refugees are involved.
Last week Petry hit headlines when she suggested that asylum seekers be sent to two UN-protected islands outside of Europe, with analysts believing she meant the pacific islands of Nauru and Manus, which currently hold heavily criticised Australian refugee detention centres.