Is Finland An Armed Nation?

Tommi Nieminen did an investigative study for the Finnish newspaper, Sanomat, about the extent of guns in his nation. About 650,000 Finns in a nation of 5,000,000 have guns in their possession. About 1.2 million of the 1.6 million guns are legal hunting weapons and 200,000-300,000 are legal handguns. HIs investigation found police officials confused after the two serious school shootings that took place in the past year. There is no national register of who has guns and it is difficult for local police officials to keep track as to who has a weapon. During the latest shooting, the young man actually was in a police station discussing his gun before he was sent away.

Niminen talked with dozens of gun dealers who know customers have assault weapons, hand grenades, and other lethal fire arms that are not registered with the police. There is no way to check the medical history of an applicant for a weapon and in most small towns and villages the local police chief allows people he knows to readily obtain a fire arm.

The issue is not whether a person should be allowed to use a rifle for hunting, but whether it is permissible to own lethal weapons that have nothing to do with hunting or self defense.