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Finland — Gun Facts, Figures and the Law

StockpilesGun Numbers

Civilian Guns

Number of Privately Owned Firearms

The estimated total number of guns (both licit and illicit) held by civilians in Finland is 2,400,0001 2

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

The estimated rate of private gun ownership (both licit and illicit) in Finland is 45.71 2 firearms per 100 people

Number of Privately Owned Rifles

In Finland, the number of rifles in civilian possession is reported to be 665,0003

Number of Privately Owned Shotguns

In Finland, the number of shotguns in civilian possession is reported to be 600,0004

Number of Privately Owned Handguns

There are reportedly 250,0005 2 handguns in civilian possession in Finland

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Finland ranked at No. 336

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Finland ranked at No. 41

Number of Licensed Firearm Owners

The number of licensed gun owners in Finland is reported to be 672,7727 8

Rate of Licensed Firearm Owners per 100 Population

The rate of licensed firearm owners per 100 people in Finland is 12.819

Number of Registered Firearms

The number of registered guns in Finland is reported to be 1,580,00010

Rate of Registered Firearms per 100 Population

The rate of registered guns per 100 people in Finland is 3011

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Finland are reported to have 531,00012 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Finland are reported to have 18,99513 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Total Number of Gun Deaths

In Finland, annual deaths resulting from firearms total 2010: 19514

Rate of All Gun Deaths per 100,000 People

In Finland, the annual rate of all gun deaths per 100,000 population is 2010: 3.6414

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Finland, annual homicides by any means total

2011: 11615
2010: 117
2009: 121
2008: 133
2007: 129
2006: 119
2005: 119
2004: 148
2003: 103
2002: 132
2001: 156
2000: 148
1999: 143
1998: 113
1997: 13915 16
1996: 153
1995: 146

Rate of Homicide per 100,000 People (any method)

ChartIn Finland, the annual rate of homicide by any means per 100,000 population is

2011: 2.215
2010: 2.2
2009: 2.3
2008: 2.5
2007: 2.4
2006: 2.3
2005: 2.3
2004: 2.8
2003: 2.0
2002: 2.5
2001: 3.0
2000: 2.9
1999: 2.8
1998: 2.2
1997: 2.7
1996: 3.0
1995: 2.9
1994: 3.2417

Gun Homicides

ChartIn Finland, annual firearm homicides total

2010: 1418
2009: 2218 15
2008: 30
2007: 23
2006: 17
2005: 11
2004: 30
2003: 18
2002: 2018
2001: 30
2000: 32
1999: 33
1998: 2218 15
1997: 4018
1996: 34

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Finland, the annual rate of firearm homicide per 100,000 population is

2010: 0.2618
2009: 0.4118 15
2008: 0.56
2007: 0.43
2006: 0.32
2005: 0.21
2004: 0.57
2003: 0.35
2002: 0.3818
2001: 0.58
2000: 0.62
1999: 0.64
1998: 0.4318 15
1997: 0.7818
1996: 0.66
1994: 0.8619

Handgun Homicides

ChartIn Finland, annual handgun homicides total

2010: 718
2009: 8
2008: 14
2007: 9
2006: 3
2005: 2
2004: 6
2003: 5
2002: 10
2001: 6
2000: 9
1999: 9
1998: 7
1997: 18
1996: 17

Rate of Handgun Homicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Finland, the annual rate of handgun homicide per 100,000 population is

2010: 0.1318
2009: 0.15
2008: 0.26
2007: 0.17
2006: 0.06
2005: 0.04
2004: 0.11
2003: 0.10
2002: 0.19
2001: 0.12
2000: 0.17
1999: 0.17
1998: 0.14
1997: 0.35
1996: 0.33

Long Gun Homicides

ChartIn Finland, annual long gun homicides total

2010: 518
2009: 7
2008: 8
2007: 5
2006: 7
2005: 4
2004: 15
2003: 11
2002: 9
2001: 13
2000: 12
1999: 14
1998: 6
1997: 22
1996: 13

Rate of Long Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Finland, the annual rate of long gun homicide per 100,000 population is

2010: 0.0918
2009: 0.13
2008: 0.15
2007: 0.09
2006: 0.13
2005: 0.08
2004: 0.29
2003: 0.21
2002: 0.17
2001: 0.25
2000: 0.23
1999: 0.27
1998: 0.12
1997: 0.43
1996: 0.25

Gun Homicides (Other)

ChartIn Finland, annual gun homicides (other) total

2010: 218
2009: 7
2008: 8
2007: 9
2006: 7
2005: 5
2004: 9
2003: 2
2002: 1
2001: 11
2000: 11
1999: 10
1998: 9
1996: 4

Rate of Gun Homicide (Other) per 100,000 People

ChartIn Finland, the annual rate of gun homicide (other) per 100,000 population is

2010: 0.0418
2009: 0.13
2008: 0.15
2007: 0.17
2006: 0.13
2005: 0.10
2004: 0.17
2003: 0.04
2002: 0.02
2001: 0.21
2000: 0.21
1999: 0.19
1998: 0.17
1996: 0.08

Suicides (any method)

In Finland, annual suicides by any means total 1998: 1,22820

Rate of Suicide per 100,000 People (any method)

ChartIn Finland, the annual rate of suicide by any means per 100,000 population is

1998: 23.5820
1994: 27.2621

Gun Suicides

ChartIn Finland, annual firearm suicides total

2010: 17922
2009: 181
2008: 207
2007: 172
2006: 183
2005: 169
2004: 219
2003: 232
2002: 205
2001: 234
2000: 200
1999: 268
1998: 267
1997: 302
1996: 278

Rate of Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Finland, the annual rate of firearm suicide per 100,000 population is

2010: 3.3422
2009: 3.39
2008: 3.9
2007: 3.25
2006: 3.48
2005: 3.22
2004: 4.19
2003: 4.45
2002: 3.94
2001: 4.51
2000: 3.86
1999: 5.19
1998: 5.18
1997: 5.88
1996: 5.43
1994: 5.7823

Handgun Suicides

ChartIn Finland, annual handgun suicides total

2010: 5822
2009: 62
2008: 57
2007: 67
2006: 54
2005: 54
2004: 73
2003: 64
2002: 63
2001: 79
2000: 61
1999: 76
1998: 86
1997: 98
1996: 104

Rate of Handgun Suicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Finland, the annual rate of handgun suicide per 100,000 population is

2010: 1.0822
2009: 1.16
2008: 1.07
2007: 1.27
2006: 1.03
2005: 1.03
2004: 1.40
2003: 1.23
2002: 1.21
2001: 1.52
2000: 1.18
1999: 1.47
1998: 1.67
1997: 1.91
1996: 2.03

Long Gun Suicides

ChartIn Finland, the number of long gun suicides is

2010: 11022
2009: 109
2008: 140
2007: 97
2006: 120
2005: 112
2004: 139
2003: 156
2002: 130
2001: 146
2000: 125
1999: 172
1998: 152
1997: 199
1996: 168

Rate of Long Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Finland, the annual rate of long gun suicide per 100,000 population is

2010: 2.0522
2009: 2.04
2008: 2.63
2007: 1.83
2006: 2.28
2005: 2.13
2004: 2.66
2003: 2.99
2002: 2.50
2001: 2.81
2000: 2.41
1999: 3.33
1998: 2.95
1997: 3.87
1996: 3.28

Gun Suicides (Other)

ChartIn Finland, annual gun suicides (other) total

2010: 1122
2009: 10
2008: 10
2007: 8
2006: 9
2005: 3
2004: 7
2003: 12
2002: 12
2001: 9
2000: 14
1999: 20
1998: 29
1997: 5
1996: 6

Rate of Gun Suicide (Other) per 100,000 People

ChartIn Finland, the annual rate of gun suicide (other) per 100,000 population is

2010: 0.2122
2009: 0.19
2008: 0.19
2007: 0.15
2006: 0.17
2005: 0.06
2004: 0.13
2003: 0.23
2002: 0.23
2001: 0.17
2000: 0.27
1999: 0.39
1998: 0.56
1997: 0.10
1996: 0.12

Unintentional Gun Deaths

ChartIn Finland, annual unintentional shooting deaths total

2010: 124
2007: 1
2006: 4
2005: 1
2004: 2
2003: 3
2002: 3
2001: 2
2000: 020
1999: 624
1998: 3
1997: 2
1996: 3

Rate of Unintentional Gun Death per 100,000 People

ChartIn Finland, the annual rate of unintentional shooting death per 100,000 population is

2010: 0.0224
2007: 0.02
2006: 0.08
2005: 0.02
2004: 0.04
2003: 0.06
2002: 0.06
2001: 0.04
2000: 0.0020
1999: 0.1224
1998: 0.06
1997: 0.04
1996: 0.06
1994: 0.1225

Unintentional Handgun Deaths

ChartIn Finland, annual unintentional shooting deaths by handgun total

2010: 124
2005: 1
2004: 1
2003: 2
2002: 1
1999: 1
1998: 1
1997: 1
1996: 1

Rate of Unintentional Handgun Death per 100,000 People

ChartIn Finland, the annual rate of unintentional shooting death by handgun per 100,000 population is

2010: 0.0224
2005: 0.02
2004: 0.02
2003: 0.04
2002: 0.02
1999: 0.02
1998: 0.02
1997: 0.02
1996: 0.02

Unintentional Long Gun Deaths

ChartIn Finland, annual unintentional shooting deaths by long gun total

2007: 124
2006: 3
2004: 1
2003: 1
2002: 2
2001: 2
1999: 5
1998: 2
1997: 1
1996: 2

Rate of Unintentional Long Gun Death per 100,000 People

ChartIn Finland, the annual rate of unintentional shooting death by long gun per 100,000 population is

2007: 0.0224
2006: 0.06
2004: 0.02
2003: 0.02
2002: 0.04
2001: 0.04
1999: 0.10
1998: 0.04
1997: 0.02
1996: 0.04

Unintentional Gun Deaths (Other)

In Finland, annual unintentional shooting deaths by firearm (other) total 2006: 124

Rate of Unintentional Gun Death (Other) per 100,000 People

In Finland, the annual rate of unintentional shooting death by firearm (other) per 100,000 population is 2006: 0.0224

Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

ChartIn Finland, annual shooting deaths in which the cause remains undecided total

2010: 126
2009: 3
2008: 1
2007: 1
2006: 2
2005: 3
2004: 2
2003: 2
2002: 1
2001: 4
2000: 3
1999: 6
1998: 3
1997: 2
1996: 8

Rate of Gun Death from Undetermined Cause per 100,000 People

ChartIn Finland, the annual rate of unknown-cause shooting deaths per 100,000 population is

2010: 0.0226
2009: 0.06
2008: 0.02
2007: 0.02
2006: 0.04
2005: 0.06
2004: 0.04
2003: 0.04
2002: 0.02
2001: 0.08
2000: 0.06
1999: 0.12
1998: 0.06
1997: 0.04
1996: 0.16
1994: 0.1027

Handgun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

ChartIn Finland, annual deaths by handgun in which the cause remains undecided total

2009: 126
2008: 1
2006: 1
2003: 1
2001: 4
1999: 1
1998: 1
1997: 2
1996: 1

Rate of Handgun Death from Undetermined Cause per 100,000 People

ChartIn Finland, the annual rate of unknown-cause handgun deaths per 100,000 population is

2009: 0.0226
2008: 0.02
2006: 0.02
2003: 0.02
2001: 0.08
1999: 0.02
1998: 0.02
1997: 0.04
1996: 0.02

Long Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

ChartIn Finland, annual deaths by long gun in which the cause remains undecided total

2009: 226
2007: 1
2006: 1
2005: 3
2000: 2
1999: 4
1998: 2
1996: 6

Rate of Long Gun Death from Undetermined Cause per 100,000 People

ChartIn Finland, the annual rate of unknown-cause long gun deaths per 100,000 population is

2009: 0.0426
2007: 0.02
2006: 0.02
2005: 0.06
2000: 0.04
1999: 0.08
1998: 0.04
1996: 0.12

Gun Deaths (Other) from Undetermined Cause

ChartIn Finland, annual deaths by firearm (other) in which the cause remains undecided total

2010: 126
2004: 2
2003: 1
2002: 1
2000: 1
1999: 1
1996: 1

Rate of Gun Death (Other) from Undetermined Cause per 100,000 People

ChartIn Finland, the annual rate of unknown-cause gun deaths (other) per 100,000 population is

2010: 0.0226
2004: 0.04
2003: 0.02
2002: 0.02
2000: 0.02
1999: 0.02
1996: 0.02

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In Finland, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is permitted only if the maker holds a valid licence28 29

Small Arms Manufacture - World Ranking

In a classification of the world's small, medium and major firearm manufacturers, Finland is ranked 'small'30

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Regulation of Firearm Exports

In Finland, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Finland is reported by Customs to be US$65,099,23540 (2011)

Small Arms Exports - World Ranking

In a comparison of the world's major/mid-level/minor/unknown small arms exporters, Finland is categorized as 'mid-level'41

Regulation of Firearm Imports

In Finland, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law42 33 43 44 34 35 36 37 38

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Finland is reported by Customs to be US$22,321,55240 (2011)

Smuggling Guns and Ammunition

Reports suggest that the level of firearm and ammunition smuggling in Finland is low45

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In Finland, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are specifically regulated by law46 47 48 49

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in Finland include50 51 certification of the intended end user of any small arms or ammunition transfer, and/or a written declaration of its intended end use

Transparency of Small Arms Transfers

In the most recent survey of state transparency in declaring firearm and ammunition exports among major small arms exporting nations, Finland was ranked at No. 1652

MeasuresGun Regulation

Firearm Regulation - Guiding Policy

The regulation of guns in Finland is categorised as restrictive53

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Finland includes the Firearms Act,54 the Act on the Export and Transit of Defence Materiel,55 the Council Directive of 18 June 1991 on Control of the Acquisition and Possession of Weapons,56 57 the European Union Firearms Regulation of 2012, the Common Position on the Control of Arms Brokering of 2003,58 and the Convention of 1 July 1969 on Reciprocal Recognition of Proofmarks on Small Arms59

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Finland are regulated by the Ministry of the Interior and the local Police,60 61 and the European Commission57

Right to Possess Firearms

In Finland, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law62

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In Finland, civilians are not allowed to possess automatic firearms, disguised firearms, armour piercing and incendiary ammunition63 64

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In Finland, private possession of fully automatic weapons is prohibited, with few exceptions65 63 64 66

Regulation of Semiautomatic Assault Weapons

In Finland, private possession of semi-automatic assault weapons is permitted under licence in some cases65 66 67 68 69

Regulation of Handguns

In Finland, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is permitted under licence in some cases65 63 70 67 68 69

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Finland, only licensed gun owners33 71 72 73 70 67 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Genuine Reason Required for Firearm Possession

Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in Finland are required to prove genuine reason to possess a firearm, for example, hunting, target shooting, gun collecting, employment requirements74 65 75 76 77 78

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in Finland is 18 years, or 15 years with parental consent75 78

Gun Licence Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in Finland must pass a background check which considers criminal and mental79 78 records

Reference Required for Firearm Licence

In Finland, third party character references for each gun licence applicant are not required54 80

Domestic Violence and Firearms

Where a past history, or apprehended likelihood of family violence exists, the law in Finland does not stipulate62 that a gun licence should be denied or revoked

Firearm Safety Training

In Finland, an understanding of firearm safety and the law, tested in a theoretical and/or practical training course is required (in the workplace)75 for a firearm licence

Gun Owner Licensing Period

In Finland gun owners are licensed for an indefinite period81 82

Licensing Records

In Finland, authorities maintain a record83 of individual civilians licensed to acquire, possess, sell or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Limit on Number of Guns

Licensed firearm owners in Finland are permitted to possess any number of firearms62

Limit on Quantity, Type of Ammunition

Licensed firearm owners in Finland are permitted to possess any quantity of ammunition62 84

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Finland, the law requires83 66 85 that a record of the acquisition, possession and transfer of each privately held firearm be retained in an official register

Gun Dealer Record Keeping

In Finland, licensed firearm dealers are required86 66 85 to keep a record of each firearm or ammunition purchase, sale or transfer on behalf of a regulating authority

Gun Sales and Transfers

Regulation of Private Gun Sales

In Finland, the private sale and transfer of firearms is permitted87

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In Finland, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful28 88 89 90 33 91 68

Regulation of Gun Shows

In Finland, gun shows and temporary firearm dealing events are not regulated62 in law

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in Finland include92 93 94 75 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of private firearms and ammunition by licensed gun owners

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Dealer

Firearm regulations in Finland include95 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by licensed arms dealers

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Government

Government regulations in Finland include96 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in Finland include92 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition while in transit

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In Finland, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is required by law97 98 99

Firearm Tracing

In Finland, state authorities carry out97 98 99 85 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Ballistic Marking of Firearms and Ammunition

In Finland, state authorities do not employ62 ballistic fingerprinting technology to trace guns and ammunition

Carrying Guns

Carrying Guns Openly in Public

In Finland, carrying a firearm in plain view in a public place is prohibited, except for an authorised work assignment100 101

Carrying Hidden Handguns in Public

In Finland, carrying a concealed firearm in a public place is prohibited, except for an authorised work assignment100 101

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In Finland, the maximum penalty for illicit firearm possession is 2 years prison102

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Authorities in Finland are known to have103 implemented voluntary firearm surrender schemes, and/or weapon seizure programmes in order to reduce the number of illicit firearms in circulation

Small Arms Destroyed

In Finland, the total number of firearms destroyed following recent amnesty, collection and seizure programmes is reported to be 6,338103

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In Finland, it is not state policy104 103 to destroy surplus, collected and seized firearms rather than return them to the secondary arms market

MeasuresInternational Controls

Regional Agreements

European Union

As a member of the European Union, Finland is bound by the provisions of the ‘EU Firearms Directive’ – the 2007 Legislative Resolution on Control of the Acquisition and Possession of Weapons of the European Parliament105 106

European Union Export Reporting

Under the European Union Common Position on Arms Exports, Finland is bound to declare its transfers of military technology and equipment. Independent monitoring provides detailed comparisons of arms export reporting compliance across EU member states, and records that Finland has submitted one or more national reports107 on its arms transfers

Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development

The Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development, a diplomatic initiative aimed at addressing the interrelations between armed violence and development, was signed in 2006108 by Finland.

United Nations Arms Trade Treaty

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty has been signed and ratified109 by Finland

United Nations Firearms Protocol

The United Nations Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition has been signed, but not yet ratified110 by Finland

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, Finland committed to a consensus decision of the United Nations to adopt, support and implement the UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects111

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, Finland has submitted one or more national reports112 113 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In Finland, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated114 113

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Finland, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated115

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of Finland submitted to the UN, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities is apparent114 113

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been donated113 by Finland to other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Finland has not declared116 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Finland has been a Member State of the United Nations since 1955117

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies lists118 Finland as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Global Peace Index

To see where Finland ranks, select the Link icon to open an external web page at the Global Peace Index


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