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Hungarians buy guns over fear of social disorder as coronavirus spreads



Hungarians have sought in increasing number to arm themselves for protection in recent weeks, fearing a possible unraveling of law and order if severe shortages set in as the coronavirus pandemic spreads.

Gun controls are tight in eastern Europe as across the rest of the continent, but demand for small arms amid growing anxiety over coronavirus has risen elsewhere in the region. The Czech arms manufacturers association said shop owners had reported rising demand and a double-digit rise in sales.

About 300,000 people hold licenses for guns in each of the Czech Republic and Hungary, both with about 10 million inhabitants. Licenses are not mandatory for some light arms.

Hungary has registered 167 cases of coronavirus, with seven deaths, but Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Monday the true number was probably much higher.

Gun and ammunition sales have also jumped across the United States amid fears of social breakdown as the pandemic worsens.

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