Police armed with pistols in heavily gun-controlled European countries are realizing a hard lesson fast–jihadists with no respect for the law are side-stepping gun control and stockpiling weapons that will give them the upper hand in confrontations with officers.
Europol chief of staff Brian Donald says there were two “large seizures” of firearms–particularly “assault weapons”–over the last two weeks and more seizures are expected as investigations and tracking continues.
According to TIME magazine, this is indicative of the reality European police face. Regardless of the gun control laws passed/implemented, jihadists are able to arm themselves just as those who attacked the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo’s headquarters on January 7 were armed.
Cherif and Said Kouachi “were armed with Kalashnikov rifles and could easily outgun the police officers who tried to apprehend them with pistols,” not to mention the police officers who weren’t armed. The third attacker, Amedy Coulibaly, “had an even greater collection of military grade weapons.”
The terrorists also had grenade launchers and Scorpion machine guns. AFP reports that Coulibaly had purchased most of the weapons from an unnamed arms trafficker in Belgium.
On January 7 Bloomberg.com reported the that Charlie Hebdo attack exposed the black markets for firearms that now exist in Europe–particularly France–and undercut gun control.
In other words, gun control appears to have created a false sense of security for the European people and their police forces as well. The reality is that guns remain available in black markets, albeit especially for those who have criminal or terrorist intent.
TIME reports that gun traffickers are thriving to such a degree that a training assignment for some new European officers has been to go out an buy a Kalashnikov from a black market dealer, just to see how easy it is. To date, doing so has only taken a couple of hours.
This is what Donald Trump warned about when he reacted to the Charlie Hebdo attack by saying, “When guns are outlawed, only the outlaws will have guns.”
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