Of all the countries in Europe being overrun with Islamic refugees, Sweden may be the most vulnerable.

Known as a bastion of liberalism and tolerance in a pre-manufactured multicultural society, Sweden is seeing the first signs of a culture breaking down.

Official law enforcement statistics show a significant surge in violence in Sweden even before the massive influx of 190,000 refugees in 2015. Sweden has been importing Muslim immigrants into its major cities for decades, and parts of Stockholm, Trelleborg and Malmo have taken on a new, distinctively Middle Eastern look and feel. Sexual assaults, killings and gang activity are all on the rise.

But the flood of new refugees from Syria, Afghanistan and North Africa in 2015 has been a wake-up call for many Swedes, who are now getting armed, reports Ingrid Carlqvist for Gatestone Institute.

Carlqvist says Sweden has become, not a police state, but a “nightwatchman state – every man is on his own.”

With the influx of 190,000 unskilled and unemployed migrants expected this year — equivalent to 2 percent of Sweden’s current population.

That number is as if 6.4 million Islamic migrants arrived in the U.S. in one year, as opposed to the roughly 200,000 that come to America annually.

“And the Swedes are preparing: demand for firearms licenses is increasing; more and more Swedes are joining shooting clubs and starting vigilante groups. … According to police statistics, there are 1,901,325 licensed guns, owned by 567,733 people, in Sweden.”

Add to this an unknown number of illegal weapons. To get a gun permit in Sweden, you need to be at least 18 years old, law-abiding, well-behaved, and have a hunting license or be a member of an approved shooting club. In 2014, 11,000 people got hunting licenses: 10 percent more than the year before. One out of five was a woman.

“There is also a high demand for alarm systems right now,” a salesman at one of the security companies told Carlqvist.

“It is largely due to the turbulence we are seeing around the country at the moment.” People have lost confidence in the state, he added.

Alan Gottlieb, executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation, told WND he recently returned from a conference in Europe, where he learned that many countries are experiencing soaring weapon sales. WND reported Oct. 26 on one such country, Austria.

Obtaining a working firearm and ammunition in many European countries – such as Germany, Britain, Denmark and the Netherlands – is practically impossible for the average citizen.

Germany, for instance, requires a psychological evaluation, the purchase of liability insurance and verifiable compliance with strict firearms storage and safety rules. And self-defense is not even a valid reason to purchase a gun in these countries.

Sweden’s gun laws are also ultra-tight. It is illegal for a civilian in Sweden to carry a firearm, unless for a specific, legal purpose, such as hunting or attending shooting ranges, according to the website Sweden.org.

Guns must by law be stored in an approved safe. And to transport firearms, there are also rules. “The general regulations are that the gun must be unloaded, hidden and transported in a safe and secure way under supervision,” the website says.

But even with these restrictions, increasing numbers of people are willing to go through the red tape necessary to get a gun.

“In Sweden, gun and ammunition sales are up just like in other European countries due to the wave of immigrants from the Middle East and the increase in terrorism,” Gottlieb said. “People everywhere want the means to defend themselves. When seconds count, the police are minutes away.”

In Sweden, Carlqvist reported that residents are reporting longer response times from overburdened police. And sometimes, depending on the location, the cops don’t come at all.

She writes:

“Truck drivers say that when they see a thief emptying the fuel tank of their trucks, they run out with a baseball bat. It is no use calling the police, but if you hit the thief, you can at least prevent him from stealing more diesel. Many homeowners say the same thing: they sleep with a baseball bat under the bed. But this is risky: the police can then say you have been prepared to use force, and that might backfire on you.

“The salesman, who asked to remain anonymous, also spoke of Sweden’s many Facebook groups, in which people in different villages openly discuss how they intend to protect themselves: ‘Sometimes you get totally freaked out when you see what they are writing. But you have to understand that Swedes are really scared when an asylum house opens in their village. They can see what has happened in other places.'”

At another security company, a salesman said every time the state immigration authorities buy or rent a new housing center for refugees, his firm is swamped with calls.

“The next day, half the village calls and wants to buy alarm systems,” he told Gatestone.

Pamela Geller, the anti-Shariah activist and author of Stop the Islamization of America, said Sweden represents the future of Europe. And long term, it could easily be America if it continues to head down its current path.

“This is indeed the future of Europe,” she wrote in a recent blog. “By their irresponsible and short-sighted, suicidal immigration and refugee policies, Europe’s political and media elites have ensured a future of violence, bloodshed and chaos for their people.”

Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, said any Western society that is modeled on tolerance had better also be protective of citizens’ rights to defend their homes and their persons.

“In America, we say that a liberal who was mugged yesterday is a conservative today. It looks as if Sweden has a rapidly increasing conservative population that has either recently been mugged or has the fear of such imminent violence,” Pratt told WND. “The threat of terrorism in their famously tolerant country has convinced Swedes that firearms and tolerance may not be inconsistent. Tolerance, perhaps, but a gun for sure.”

Jerry Henry, executive director of GeorgiaCarry.org, said it would appear that Sweden and the U.S. have a lot in common.

“There are many parallels, in my opinion. Although citizens in both countries are purchasing firearms for self-protection, the U.S. is ahead in purchasing firearms as we have been doing that in a serious manner since 2008 and continue today,” Henry said.

“Sweden turned a blind eye to the coming refugee storm, and our present administration did its best to get our citizens to do the same thing,” he added. “Now Sweden finds themselves in need to protect themselves and are doing what we have been doing for quite some time.”

As in the U.S., women in Sweden represent one of fastest growing segments fueling the current gun-sale bonanza.

“I am amazed that a citizen in Sweden can be arrested for sleeping with a baseball bat under his bed for being prepared to use force. How ridiculous is that? This is very difficult for me and most U.S. citizens to believe while admitting we have many gun prohibitionists who would love to see such a move here.”

Henry said gun sales are up in all locations across his state, and the demand for concealed-carry permits skyrocketed after the San Bernardino, California, Islamic terrorist attack that killed 14 people at a Christmas party.

“One would expect this trend to continue for quite some time. Most people I know are either prepared for the worst or preparing for the worst,” he said.

“We also have a lot of sheriffs and law officers who are urging armed citizens to carry to protect themselves and others if necessary,” Henry continued. “This is a huge reversal from just a couple of years ago. This is especially gratifying when our president’s first thought after a mass murder is to discuss how he plans to implement gun control.”

“The Age of Aquarius was in the 1960s and 1970s, but the Age of Awakening may be appearing just over the horizon.”

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