Populist right-wing AfD party co-leader Frauke Petry has encouraged Germans to carry firearms. She claims the government has lost its state monopoly to protect the public, especially in thinly populated areas.
Petry, who caused an uproar January by suggesting German police could use firearms to deter incoming refugees, on Saturday called into question Germany’s policing and stringent gun ownership law in the wake of deadly attacks last month.
There were no grounds for concern when citizens armed themselves for self-protection in areas where austerity measures by national and regional governments had “systematically ruined” police services, Petry told the Funke Media Group based in Essen.
“Every law-abiding person should be in the position to protect himself, his family and his friends,” Petry said.
Greens co-leader Katrin Göring-Eckardt promptly accused Petry of negligently stoking anxiety and said trained recruits should be hired where Germany’s “good” police forces were depleted.
That would improve public perceptions of safety, “not weapons for all” as advocated by Petry, said Göring-Eckardt. “Weapons don’t belong in the wrong hands.”