Cologne Sex-Attack Spurs Spike in Pepper Spray, Non-Lethal Gun in Germany Sales | NBC New York
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Cologne Sex-Attack Spurs Spike in Pepper Spray, Non-Lethal Gun in Germany Sales

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    Supporters of the right-wing populist group Pegida march on the first anniversary of its Leipzig affiliate, called Legida, on January 11, 2016 in Leipzig, Germany. Pegida and other right-wing activists have been quick to latch on to the New Year's Eve sex attacks in Cologne. Over 100 women have filed charges of sexual molestation, robbery and in two cases, rape, stemming from aggressive groping and other behavior by gangs of drunken men described as Arab or North African at Hauptbahnhof on New Year's Eve.

    A spate of sex assaults, allegedly committed mostly by North African men on New Year's Eve in Cologne, has sparked an "explosion in sales" of pepper spray and non-lethal guns, German officials and an industry chief said.

    "We saw a huge spike of sales numbers after January," said Ingo Meinhard, head of the German association for gunsmiths and weapons dealers.

    The association expected purchases of "so-called deterrents and defensive small arms" to at least double in 2016 following the Cologne attacks, Meinhard told NBC News.

    Authorities are investigating more than 670 criminal complains — almost 350 of them sexual offenses — after hundreds of women were groped and robbed by groups of men outside the main railway station in the western city.