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Matteo Salvini: Everyone has a right to self-defence

Three gang members have tried to rob a jewellery store in Italy. The owner shot two of the attackers, while the third assailant fled the scene. Following the attack, Italy's right-wing Lega party launched a campaign for the recognition of self-defence.

The jewellery store of owner Mario Roggero was first robbed in 2015. Back then, he had no means of defending himself. His wife and daughter were beaten, tied up and locked into the store's restroom, while the burglars made away with 300 thousand euros worth of goods.

At the time of the second robbery in 2021, however, Roggero was a licenced gun owner. He fired five shots, seriously wounding two of his attackers and scaring off the third. He called an ambulance to attend to the two foreign assailants he had shot, but doctors were unable to save their lives. In a bid to find and apprehend the third robber who presumably fled the scene by car, authorities have set up checkpoints.

The day after the robbery, Silvia Roggero, the jeweller's daughter, wrote the following message on social media: "Thank you for your solidarity, thank you to those who support my father, who bravely defended my mother and sister against the attack. Thank you for your countless messages and your presence. Now we need all the positive energy and support."

Using his social media account, Matteo Salvini also expressed solidarity with the jeweller, writing that self-defence must always be legitimate. The politician launched a campaign to support lawful self-defence, using the #iostocolgioielliere (I'm a jeweller) hashtag.

"We were drawing up the daily tasks of the city council when we heard the shots on the street," the town's mayor said  after the incident. "I got scared and went down to see what happened. However, I'm still confused by the situation. All I know is that it's the second time an honest family was targeted by these thugs. At the same time, I'm glad the store owner's family didn't suffer a violent attack similar to the one a few years ago."

Left-wing parties and their leaders have not responded to the attack, but in the past, both the Democratic Party and the Five Star Movement was in favour of tightening the rules for the licencing of firearms, arguing that it could reduce the number of gun-related crimes and abuses.

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