Gun queries up after robber killing in Paiania

Gun shop owners in Athens have reported a surge of interest in their wares after a 23-year-old man shot dead a robber who broke into his home in Paiania last week.

Sunday’s Kathimerini spoke to several store owners who said there was a sharp rise in the number of people asking about hunting rifles in the wake of the shooting on Thursday.

“The day after the incident in Paiania, dozens of people came to ask about how to buy a hunting rifle,” said Giorgos Stamatopoulos who owns a gun shop in central Athens. “Most of them were quite open about the fact they wanted the guns for personal safety, not hunting.”

There are about 1 million hunting rifles and some 10,000 handguns legally owned in Greece. It is thought there are at least 100,000 guns circulating illegally. Last year, 3,618 people were arrested for carrying a firearm without a license.

There is concern that rising crime could lead to some Greeks taking the law into their own hands. “The belief that the police force is not effective, in combination with the rise in some types of crime could gradually create an atmosphere of vigilantism,” said criminologist Vassilis Karydis. 

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