Mario Rönsch, the owner of online gun store Migrantenschreck (roughly translated as 'Migrant Fright') went on trial on 29 November in Berlin on charges of illegally selling 193 guns to customers across Germany, Deutsche Welle reported. The man could receive from 6 months to 5 years in prison for illegal arms trade. The 35-year-old German man set up his shop some time ago, but it drew authorities' attention only in 2016.
'Migrant Fright' was selling a wide variety of gas-powered pistols, crossbows, rubber ammunition for different types of weapons, claiming to deliver all this without 'annoying bureaucratic hurdles and irritating forms', referring to the need to have a license to carry such weapons in Germany. The website, which no longer functions, stated that it sold guns to people so they could protect their families.
It took almost two years for German authorities to track down Rönsch, as he moved his website from country to country and fled Germany to avoid arrest; but in March 2018, he was apprehended in Hungary and then extradited to his homeland.
The online shop drew attention following the influx of migrants to Germany in 2015, after Berlin proclaimed an open-doors policy. Many critics of German Chancellor Angela Merkel claim that the uncontrolled migration has led to a rise in crime in the country, especially in regards to rape.
In one recent case, a German woman was raped by 7 men for hours, with police later revealing that the suspects in the case were Syrian migrants. Following the incident, Germany was rocked by a wave of anti-migrant protests, with people demanding to stricter border protection.