Police in Europe are now saying that gun banning has failed them. Terrorists have managed to get a hold of high powered, black market assault rifles, in spite of the fact that these are virtually impossible to get through legal means in most European nations.
As well, many law enforcement agencies are armed with little or nothing, and finding out quickly that criminals do not obey gun laws, they simply buy illegal arms from the robust black market.
In Europe it is just as easy to get weapons on the black market as it is to walk into a gun store in the United States. In many cases, the prices you pay on the black market are considerably less expensive than in nations where the same arms can be purchased through legal avenues.
Europol chief of staff Brian Donald recently said that there were two “large seizures” of firearms, mostly “assault weapons”, in the past two weeks alone. None of these were stolen from the gun stores or the homes of law abiding citizens. Yet in spite of the laws against them, it has been relatively easy to easy to get your hands on pretty much anything you want – even easier than in the United States for many select fire, fully automatic weapons.
It would seem that the more guns have been banned by the governments of Europe, the more robust the black market has grown and the more available the weapons have become to those who are willing to break the law.
TIME magazine reports that terrorists in Europe have been able to arm themselves with weapons that typically cost $20,000 or more in the United States to acquire legally. But on the European black market, these weapons were fetched for what would be under $1,000 USD.
When the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo’s headquarters was attacked on January 7, no one around the terrorists was armed.
Cherif and Said Kouachi “were armed with Kalashnikov rifles and could easily outgun the police officers who tried to apprehend them with pistols.”
But both the citizens and the police officers weren’t armed.
Amedy Coulibaly, the third attacker, “had an even greater collection of military grade weapons.”
The terrorists also had illegal grenade launchers and Czech Scorpion machine guns. The AFP reported that Coulibaly almost all of these weapons on the Belgium black market.
TIME reports finding a new assault weapon on streets of Europe only takes a couple of hours in most nations where such weapons are illegal.
Watch the report below and let us know if you think banning guns actually keeps them out of the hands of criminals, or if it just creates a more robust black market for illegal weapons.
(Article by M. David)