Articles on recent events in Germany and Austria have included references to the formation of vigilante groups, which are prepared to do the job the police won’t do with respect to culturally enriched crime. Other reports say that Germans and Austrians are buying guns in record numbers, and that some dealers have exhausted their stocks and are putting potential customers on a waiting list.
The following account of Austrian weapons laws was left by a commenter named Michael. It contains useful information on the firearms situation in Austria, and is worth reproducing here in its entirety. I’ve edited the text for punctuation, spelling, and syntactic clarity:
I’m an Austrian citizen and the current weapons law is the following:
Weapons are categorized in categories A-D.
A: Weapons for war. This category mainly includes fully automatic guns. Totally forbidden for people [civilians]. B: Semi-automatic rifles and pistols. You need a weapon owner’s card (Waffenbesitzkarte) or a weapon pass (Waffenpass). The latter allows the carrying of the weapon with you, whereas the first one only allows purchasing and transport to a shooting range. C+D: Single-shot rifles. Can be bought freely if you’re 18+.
All weapons are registered in a central weapons registry (zentralles Waffenregister).
I have a Waffenbesitzkarte, so I can buy up to two semi-automatic guns currently (can be extended to up to nine, but I have to wait for five years to extend by two slots).
Requirements for this card:
- No criminal actions in your past
- Police visit you
- Psychological test (€238)
- Shooting course (€50)
- The costs for the card itself (€77)
Weapons of category B have to be stored in a locked weapon box, and you get visits from the police…
Currently weapon sales as well as registrations for the cards mentioned above are skyrocketing in Austria (four times the number of registrations). I have no numbers for weapons sales, but currently for cat C+B weapons you have to wait two months and about a week for a Glock (and these guns are manufactured in this country).
People are nervous and refugee thematics are all over the place….
I hope I have shed some light.