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Brescia, Italy — Italians make some of the most sought after firearms in the world. For decades they supplied the standard issue pistol of the U.S. military. Domestically, however, few Italians have owned guns for self defense. But now, analysts say a growing sense of insecurity — and some of the country’s new leaders — are bringing a shift in Italy’s gun laws and culture, and despite falling crime rates, more Italians are arming themselves for security.
Italy has produced over 1 billion dollars worth of the estimated 2 billion dollars of shotguns imported by the United States over the last decade, according to preliminary data from Small Arms Analytics. The epicenter of the Italian firearms industry is Brescia, in the country’s mountainous north.