17:59 GMT20 January 2021
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    The number of the licenses for the possession and carry of firearms by individuals has increased in the Czech Republic due to the fear of migrants, local media reported.

    For the first time in a few years, the number of the Czechs who applied for permits to possess personal weapons has increased. Experts attribute this trend to the growing fear of migrants arriving in Europe, online edition iDNES.cz wrote.

    In an interview with the media outlet, shooting instructor Milan Vesely said that a few years ago mostly sport shooters wanted to obtain a permit to carry weapons. But today, there is a growing number of those who want to get a Group E certificate, that is, to protect their life, health and property. Many of those who have submitted applications are women.

    "People are not stupid, they see that the security situation in the world and in nearby regions has deteriorated dramatically. They are afraid and are preparing for the worst," Vesely said.

    As reported by the website, the number of Czech citizens possessing guns steadily decreased in recent years. But now the trend has changed. According to the Ministry of Interior of the Czech Republic, in 2013-2015 the number of people owning personal weapons was 292,000, but in 2016 it has risen to 297,966.

    Many experts believe that the reason for the permit growth could be attributable to panic among the population and fear of a potential influx of Muslim migrants. According to psychologist Karel Humhal, people do not trust politicians.

    "When I was a kid, I grew up in a village where everyone knew each other, foreigners rarely came to us, and people never locked their gates. Then the construction of housing districts started, those who could not find work at home came to us and started stealing things. Today, foreigners are arriving. Politicians can say whatever they want, but people are scared," Humhal concluded.

    Europe has been trying to cope with a massive refugee crisis, with hundreds of thousands of undocumented migrants fleeing crisis-torn countries in the Middle East and North Africa, including from Syria, to escape violence and poverty. The growing number of migrants has raised serious security concerns among the European population.

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    refugee crisis, security, weapons, guns, Czech Republic
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