Austria is set to ban refugees and asylum seekers from owning knives as figures showed the number of attacks using stabbing and slashing weapons in the country has almost doubled over the past five years.
Proposed amendments to the country’s weapons law would extend the prohibition on non-EU migrants owning firearms, introduced in 2016, to bladed weapons — with the exceptions of hunting and kitchen knives.
The significant rise in knife violence and deadly attacks means the government must take action, said Interior Minister Herbert Kickl, stating: “That is why the ban on weapons for asylum seekers or those entitled to asylum will in the future not only include firearms but all forms of weapons.”
Federal Criminal Police Office figures show the number of attacks using bladed weapons has been steadily on the rise, with the 676 incidents recorded in 2013 increasing to 1,030 last year — 635 of which were perpetrated by migrants, Der Standard reports.
Set to come into effect on January 1, 2019, the ban on most non-European migrants owning and carrying knives is part of a package of amendments to Austria’s weapons law designed to bring it into line with a new European Union firearms directive.
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While Kickl, who belongs to the populist Freedom Party (FPÖ), said the changes “strike the right balance between security needs, responsibility and freedom”, they were blasted as “one-sided” by author Irene Brickner.
Urging readers to look to the U.S., where she claims “extreme, murderous violence” is commonplace, and that “dozens of killing sprees” take place each year, the columnist said: “It is dangerous to have too many weapons in the hands of citizens.”
But, after praising the idea of including knives in the nation’s weapons legislation, Brickner attacked the interior minister for singling out asylum seekers and illegal immigrants instead of bringing in a blanket ban, and attacked aspects of the proposals likely to be welcomed by hunting enthusiasts, such as plans to permit the use of silencers.
Breitbart London previously reported on the massive rise in gun sales seen in Austria after the “migrant crisis” saw the nation inundated with huge numbers of third world migrants after Chancellor Angela Merkel, who leads neighbouring Germany, issued a ‘welcome’ call to the world’s poor.
In December 2016, gun store employee Jeffrey Pang said the “surge in firearm sales coincided with reports of robberies, rapes and break-ins since the migrant crisis began”, reporting that the feeling of security in Austria had plummeted since the migrant influx.
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— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 14, 2018