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Sweden — Gun Facts, Figures and the Law

StockpilesGun Numbers

Civilian Guns

Number of Privately Owned Firearms

ChartThe estimated total number of guns (both licit and illicit) held by civilians in Sweden is

2017: 2,296,0001
2011: 1,980,0002 3 4
2005: 2,800,0005

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

ChartThe estimated rate of private gun ownership (both licit and illicit) per 100 people in Sweden is

2017: 23.101
2011: 20.836 7 4
2005: 31.65

Number of Privately Owned Rifles

In Sweden, the number of rifles in civilian possession is reported to be 1,115,0008

Number of Privately Owned Shotguns

ChartIn Sweden, the number of shotguns in civilian possession is reported to be

2015: 640,0009
2010: 700,000
1999: 915,0008

Number of Privately Owned Handguns

In Sweden, the number of handguns in civilian possession is reported to be 155,0008

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Sweden ranked at No. 2810

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Sweden ranked at No. 105

Proportion of Households with Firearms

ChartIn Sweden, the percentage of households with one or more guns is reported to be

2010: 16%11
2005: 19.3%12
1999/2003: 15.9%
1995/98: 16.2%
1992: 15.1%13
1992/94: 15.9%12

Proportion of Households with Rifles

In Sweden, the percentage of households with one or more rifles is reported to be

1992: 10.8%13

Proportion of Households with Shotguns

In Sweden, the percentage of households with one or more shotguns is reported to be

1992: 8.3%13

Proportion of Households with Handguns

ChartIn Sweden, the percentage of households with one or more handguns is reported to be

2005: 1.6%12
1999/2003: 1.7%
1995/98: 1.7%
1992/94: 1.5%12 13

Number of Licensed Firearm Owners

ChartThe number of licensed gun owners in Sweden is reported to be

2015: 560,0009
2013: 599,24314
2011: 619,00015
2010: 622,15411
1999: 781,5218

Rate of Licensed Firearm Owners per 100 Population

ChartThe rate of licensed firearm owners per 100 people in Sweden is

2011: 6.516
2010: 6.60
1999: 8.77

Number of Registered Firearms

ChartThe number of registered guns in Sweden is reported to be

2017: 1,955,4781
2013: 1,955,47814
2011: 1,800,00015
2005: 2,096,7985

Rate of Registered Firearms per 100 Population

ChartThe rate of registered guns per 100 people in Sweden is

2011: 18.946
2005: 23.09

Estimated Number of Illicit Firearms

ChartUnlawfully held guns cannot be counted, but in Sweden there are estimated to be

2017: 340,5221
2013: 195,54714
2011: 180,0002 16 4
2004: 4,000,00017

Estimated Rate of Illicit Firearms per 100 Population

ChartUnlawfully held guns cannot be counted, but in Sweden the rate of illicit firearms per 100 people is estimated to be

2011: 1.896
2004: 44.22

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Sweden are reported to have 139,18018 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Sweden are reported to have 38,00019 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Total Number of Gun Deaths

ChartIn Sweden, annual deaths resulting from firearms total

2015: 15720
2014: 15421 22 23 24
2013: 12521 22 24
2012: 14121 22 23 24 25
2011: 135
2010: 13826
2009: 15721 22 24
2008: 13821 22 23 24
2007: 135
2006: 13921 22 23
2005: 137
2004: 156
2003: 14121 22 24
2002: 19221 22 23 24
2001: 164
2000: 169
1999: 188
1998: 167
1997: 169
1996: 17721 22 23

Rate of All Gun Deaths per 100,000 People

ChartIn Sweden, the annual rate of all gun deaths per 100,000 population is

2015: 1.6020
2014: 1.58
2013: 1.30
2012: 1.47
2011: 1.42
2010: 1.46
2009: 1.686
2008: 1.49
2007: 1.47
2006: 1.52
2005: 1.51
2004: 1.72
2003: 1.56
2002: 2.14
2001: 1.83
2000: 1.89
1999: 2.11
1998: 1.88
1997: 1.90
1996: 1.99

Total Number of Male Gun Deaths

ChartIn Sweden, annual male deaths resulting from firearms total

2015: 14920
2014: 146
2013: 114
2012: 135
2011: 133
2010: 130

Total Number of Female Gun Deaths

ChartIn Sweden, annual female deaths resulting from firearms total

2015: 820
2014: 8
2013: 11
2012: 6
2011: 2
2010: 8

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Sweden, annual homicides by any means total

2015: 9820
2014: 78
2013: 78
2012: 62
2011: 71
2010: 88
2009: 87
2008: 77
2007: 107
2006: 88
2005: 79
2004: 107
2003: 85
2002: 101
2001: 87
2000: 96
1999: 9927 28
1998: 93
1997: 91
1996: 97
1995: 83

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

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

2015: 1.6020
2014: 1.58
2013: 1.30
2012: 1.47
2011: 1.42
2010: 1.46
2009: 0.9
2008: 0.8
2007: 1.2
2006: 1.0
2005: 0.9
2004: 1.2
2003: 1.0
2002: 1.1
2001: 1.0
2000: 1.1
1999: 1.127
1998: 1.1
1997: 1.0
1996: 1.1
1995: 0.9
1993: 1.3029

Male Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Sweden, annual male homicides by any means total

2015: 7220
2014: 52
2013: 54
2012: 41
2011: 51
2010: 62

Female Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Sweden, annual female homicides by any means total

2015: 2620
2014: 26
2013: 24
2012: 21
2011: 20
2010: 26

Gun Homicides

ChartIn Sweden, annual firearm homicides total

2015: 3120
2014: 2521
2013: 22
2012: 1621 25
2011: 1921
2010: 18
2009: 2221
2008: 14
2007: 21
2006: 13
2005: 11
2004: 1521 27
2003: 18
2002: 16
2001: 19
2000: 2221
1999: 30
1998: 25
1997: 1421 27
1996: 11
1995: 2930

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

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

2015: 0.3220
2014: 0.26
2013: 0.23
2012: 0.17
2011: 0.20
2010: 0.19
2009: 0.2421
2008: 0.15
2007: 0.23
2006: 0.14
2005: 0.12
2004: 0.1721 27
2003: 0.2
2002: 0.18
2001: 0.21
2000: 0.2521
1999: 0.34
1998: 0.28
1997: 0.1621 27
1996: 0.12
1995: 0.3330
1993: 0.1831

Proportion of Homicides Committed With a Gun

ChartIn Sweden, the percentage of homicides committed with a firearm is reported to be

2011: 27%32
2010: 17%33 34
2004: 33.9%27
2003: 48.2%
2002: 58.6%
2001: 39.3%
1997: 19.8%
1996: 28.9%

Male Gun Homicide Victims

ChartIn Sweden, annual male firearm homicides total

2015: 2020
2014: 20
2013: 17
2012: 13
2011: 18
2010: 14

Female Gun Homicide Victims

ChartIn Sweden, annual female firearm homicides total

2015: 520
2014: 5
2013: 5
2012: 3
2011: 1
2010: 4

Handgun Homicides

ChartIn Sweden, annual handgun homicides total

2014: 1821
2013: 15
2012: 11
2011: 1
2010: 1
2007: 3
2006: 1
2004: 3
2003: 5
2002: 3
2001: 2
2000: 2
1999: 3
1998: 3

Rate of Handgun Homicide per 100,000 People

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

2014: 0.1921
2013: 0.16
2012: 0.12
2011: 0.01
2010: 0.01
2007: 0.03
2006: 0.01
2004: 0.03
2003: 0.06
2002: 0.03
2001: 0.02
2000: 0.02
1999: 0.03
1998: 0.03

Long Gun Homicides

ChartIn Sweden, annual long gun homicides total

2014: 121
2013: 5
2012: 3
2011: 2
2009: 1
2008: 2
2007: 1
2006: 2
2005: 1
2004: 2
2003: 2
2002: 2
2001: 5
2000: 3
1999: 10
1998: 8
1997: 3

Rate of Long Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

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

2014: 0.0121
2013: 0.05
2012: 0.03
2011: 0.02
2009: 0.01
2008: 0.02
2007: 0.01
2006: 0.02
2005: 0.01
2004: 0.02
2003: 0.02
2002: 0.02
2001: 0.06
2000: 0.03
1999: 0.11
1998: 0.09
1997: 0.03

Gun Homicides (Other)

ChartIn Sweden, annual gun homicides (other) total

2014: 621
2013: 2
2012: 2
2011: 16
2010: 17
2009: 21
2008: 12
2007: 17
2006: 10
2005: 10
2004: 10
2003: 11
2002: 11
2001: 12
2000: 17
1999: 17
1998: 14
1997: 11

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

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

2014: 0.0621
2013: 0.02
2012: 0.02
2011: 0.17
2010: 0.18
2009: 0.23
2008: 0.13
2007: 0.19
2006: 0.11
2005: 0.11
2004: 0.11
2003: 0.12
2002: 0.12
2001: 0.13
2000: 0.19
1999: 0.19
1998: 0.16
1997: 0.12

Suicides (any method)

ChartIn Sweden, annual suicides by any means total

2015: 1,17920
2014: 1,148
2013: 1,227
2012: 1,151
2011: 1,110
2010: 1,138
1996: 1,25335

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

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

2015: 12.0320
2014: 11.81
2013: 12.72
2012: 12.02
2011: 11.68
2010: 12.06
1996: 14.1235
1993: 15.7536

Male Suicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Sweden, annual male suicides by any means total

2015: 84820
2014: 785
2013: 861
2012: 817
2011: 787
2010: 836

Female Suicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Sweden, annual female suicides by any means total

2015: 33120
2014: 363
2013: 366
2012: 334
2011: 323
2010: 302

Gun Suicides

ChartIn Sweden, annual firearm suicides total

2015: 12120
2014: 12422
2013: 98
2012: 12222 25
2011: 11322
2010: 113
2009: 132
2008: 120
2007: 107
2006: 121
2005: 119
2004: 138
2003: 120
2002: 169
2001: 139
2000: 136
1999: 154
1998: 133
1997: 148
1996: 163

Rate of Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

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

2015: 1.2320
2014: 1.28
2013: 1.02
2012: 1.27
2011: 1.19
2010: 1.20
2009: 1.42
2008: 1.3
2007: 1.17
2006: 1.33
2005: 1.32
2004: 1.53
2003: 1.34
2002: 1.89
2001: 1.56
2000: 1.53
1999: 1.74
1998: 1.5
1997: 1.67
1996: 1.84
1993: 2.0937

Male Gun Suicide Victims

ChartIn Sweden, annual male firearm suicides total

2015: 11820
2014: 121
2013: 94
2012: 120
2011: 112
2010: 110

Female Gun Suicide Victims

ChartIn Sweden, annual female firearm suicides total

2015: 320
2014: 3
2013: 4
2012: 2
2011: 1
2010: 3

Handgun Suicides

ChartIn Sweden, annual handgun suicides total

2014: 2722
2013: 21
2012: 25
2011: 11
2010: 15
2009: 16
2008: 21
2007: 15
2006: 14
2005: 18
2004: 19
2003: 25
2002: 17
2001: 16
2000: 11
1999: 15
1998: 18
1997: 16

Rate of Handgun Suicide per 100,000 People

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

2014: 0.2822
2013: 0.22
2012: 0.26
2011: 0.12
2010: 0.16
2009: 0.17
2008: 0.23
2007: 0.16
2006: 0.15
2005: 0.20
2004: 0.21
2003: 0.28
2002: 0.19
2001: 0.18
2000: 0.12
1999: 0.17
1998: 0.20
1997: 0.18

Long Gun Suicides

ChartIn Sweden, the number of long gun suicides is

2014: 9422
2013: 72
2012: 93
2011: 75
2010: 63
2009: 77
2008: 64
2007: 58
2006: 68
2005: 61
2004: 77
2003: 54
2002: 93
2001: 87
2000: 83
1999: 114
1998: 86
1997: 101

Rate of Long Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

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

2014: 0.9722
2013: 0.75
2012: 0.98
2011: 0.79
2010: 0.67
2009: 0.83
2008: 0.69
2007: 0.63
2006: 0.75
2005: 0.68
2004: 0.86
2003: 0.60
2002: 1.04
2001: 0.98
2000: 0.94
1999: 1.29
1998: 0.97
1997: 1.14

Gun Suicides (Other)

ChartIn Sweden, annual gun suicides (other) total

2014: 322
2013: 5
2012: 4
2011: 27
2010: 35
2009: 39
2008: 35
2007: 34
2006: 39
2005: 40
2004: 42
2003: 41
2002: 59
2001: 36
2000: 42
1999: 25
1998: 29
1997: 31

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

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

2014: 0.0322
2013: 0.05
2012: 0.04
2011: 0.29
2010: 0.37
2009: 0.42
2008: 0.38
2007: 0.37
2006: 0.43
2005: 0.44
2004: 0.47
2003: 0.46
2002: 0.66
2001: 0.40
2000: 0.47
1999: 0.28
1998: 0.33
1997: 0.35

Unintentional Gun Deaths

ChartIn Sweden, annual unintentional shooting deaths total

2015: 220
2014: 223
2013: 0
2012: 123 25
2011: 223
2010: 6
2008: 1
2007: 6
2006: 5
2005: 5
2004: 1
2002: 1
2001: 2
2000: 8
1999: 1
1998: 3
1997: 2
1996: 3

Rate of Unintentional Gun Death per 100,000 People

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

2015: 0.0320
2014: 0.03
2013: 0.05
2012: 0.02
2011: 0.01
2010: 0.01
2008: 0.01
2007: 0.07
2006: 0.06
2005: 0.06
2004: 0.01
2002: 0.01
2001: 0.02
2000: 0.09
1999: 0.01
1998: 0.03
1997: 0.02
1996: 0.03
1993: 0.0338

Unintentional Male Gun Deaths

ChartIn Sweden, annual unintentional male shooting deaths total

2015: 020
2014: 2
2013: 0
2012: 1
2011: 2
2010: 5

Unintentional Female Gun Deaths

ChartIn Sweden, annual unintentional female shooting deaths total

2015: 220
2014: 0
2013: 0
2012: 0
2011: 0
2010: 1

Unintentional Handgun Deaths

ChartIn Sweden, annual unintentional shooting deaths by handgun total

2010: 223
2005: 1
2002: 1
2000: 2
1997: 1

Rate of Unintentional Handgun Death per 100,000 People

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

2010: 0.0223
2005: 0.01
2002: 0.01
2000: 0.02
1997: 0.01

Unintentional Long Gun Deaths

ChartIn Sweden, annual unintentional shooting deaths by long gun total

2014: 223
2012: 1
2011: 2
2010: 3
2008: 1
2007: 3
2006: 2
2005: 2
2001: 1
2000: 3
1999: 1
1998: 3
1997: 1

Rate of Unintentional Long Gun Death per 100,000 People

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

2014: 0.0223
2012: 0.01
2011: 0.02
2010: 0.03
2008: 0.01
2007: 0.03
2006: 0.02
2005: 0.02
2001: 0.01
2000: 0.03
1999: 0.01
1998: 0.03
1997: 0.01

Unintentional Gun Deaths (Other)

ChartIn Sweden, annual unintentional shooting deaths by firearm (other) total

2010: 123
2007: 3
2006: 3
2005: 2
2004: 1
2001: 1
2000: 3

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

ChartIn Sweden, the annual rate of unintentional shooting death by firearm (other) per 100,000 population is

2010: 0.0123
2007: 0.03
2006: 0.03
2005: 0.02
2004: 0.01
2001: 0.01
2000: 0.03

Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

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

2015: 320
2014: 324
2013: 5
2012: 224 25
2011: 124
2010: 1
2009: 3
2008: 3
2007: 1
2005: 2
2004: 2
2003: 3
2002: 6
2001: 4
2000: 3
1999: 3
1998: 6
1997: 5

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

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

2014: 0.0324
2013: 0.05
2012: 0.0224 6
2011: 0.0124
2010: 0.01
2009: 0.03
2008: 0.03
2007: 0.01
2005: 0.02
2004: 0.02
2003: 0.03
2002: 0.07
2001: 0.04
2000: 0.03
1999: 0.03
1998: 0.07
1997: 0.06
1993: 0.0639

Male Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

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

2015: 220
2014: 3
2013: 3
2012: 1
2011: 1
2010: 1

Female Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

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

2015: 120
2014: 0
2013: 2
2012: 1
2011: 0
2010: 0

Handgun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

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

2013: 424
2012: 1
2009: 1
2008: 1
2004: 1
2002: 2
1999: 1
1998: 2
1997: 1

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

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

2013: 0.0424
2012: 0.02
2009: 0.01
2008: 0.01
2004: 0.01
2002: 0.02
1999: 0.01
1998: 0.02
1997: 0.01

Long Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

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

2013: 124
2010: 1
2008: 1
2005: 1
2003: 1
2001: 1
2000: 1
1999: 1
1998: 1
1997: 1

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

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

2013: 0.0124
2010: 0.01
2008: 0.01
2005: 0.01
2003: 0.01
2001: 0.01
2000: 0.01
1999: 0.01
1998: 0.01
1997: 0.01

Gun Deaths (Other) from Undetermined Cause

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

2012: 124
2011: 1
2009: 2
2008: 1
2007: 1
2005: 1
2004: 1
2003: 2
2002: 4
2001: 3
2000: 2
1999: 1
1998: 3
1997: 3

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

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

2012: 0.0124
2011: 0.01
2009: 0.02
2008: 0.01
2007: 0.01
2005: 0.01
2004: 0.01
2003: 0.02
2002: 0.04
2001: 0.03
2000: 0.02
1999: 0.01
1998: 0.03
1997: 0.03

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In Sweden, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is permitted only if the maker holds a valid licence40

Small Arms Manufacture - World Ranking

In a classification of the world's small, medium and major firearm manufacturers, Sweden was ranked 'small'41

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Firearm Exports

In Sweden, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50

Firearm Exports (Number)

ChartThe annual number of firearms exported from Sweden is reported by manufacturers to be

2017: 151
2016: 66
2015: 2
2014: 46
2013: 33
2012: 25
2011: 27
2010: 48
2009: 41
2008: 1
2007: 5

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

ChartThe annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Sweden is reported by Customs to be US$

2016: 80,931,84552
2015: 72,534,303
2014: 84,483,852
2013: 74,995,010
2012: 63,233,97252 53 54
2011: 33,506,18355
2010: 132,000,00056
2001: 23,000,00053

Small Arms Exports - World Ranking

In a comparison of the world's major/mid-level/minor/unknown small arms exporters, Sweden was categorized as 'major'57 58 59

Firearm Imports

In Sweden, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law42 43 44 60 46 47 48 49

Firearm Imports (Number)

ChartThe annual number of firearms imported to Sweden is reported to be

2017: 2,11751
2016: 982
2015: 151
2014: 635
2013: 822
2012: 835
2011: 170
2010: 136
2009: 285
2008: 82
2007: 272
2006: 182

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

ChartThe annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Sweden is reported by Customs to be US$

2016: 77,653,44752
2015: 82,416,969
2014: 68,056,230
2013: 62,186,413
2012: 56,650,85552 61 62
2011: 25,903,70255 63
2010: 35,000,00064

Smuggling Guns and Ammunition

Reports suggest that the level of firearm and ammunition smuggling in Sweden is low8

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In Sweden, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are specifically regulated by law65 44 45 66 67

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in Sweden include42 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

ChartIn its annual Small Arms Trade Transparency Barometer, the Small Arms Survey compares public reporting among major arms exporting nations on a scale from strong to weak (25 to zero). In recent years, Sweden scored

2017: 16.7568
2016: 16.0069
2014: 15.0070
2013: 15.5071
2012: 15.2572
2011: 15.0073
2010: 16.5074
2009: 16.0075
2008: 14.5076
2007: 16.0077
2006: 14.7578
2005: 15.2579
2004: 11.7580

MeasuresGun Regulation

Firearm Regulation - Guiding Policy

The regulation of guns in Sweden is categorised as restrictive81

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Sweden includes the Weapons Act (Vapenlagen 1996:67 ),82 the Weapons Ordinance (Vapenförordningen 1996:70 ), the National Police Board directives,82 the Military Equipment Act (Lag om Krigsmateriel) 1992,44 40 the Council Directive of 18 June 1991 on Control of the Acquisition and Possession of Weapons,83 84 the European Union Firearms Regulation of 2012 and the Common Position on the Control of Arms Brokering of 200385

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Sweden are regulated by the National Police15 and the European Commission84

Right to Possess Firearms

In Sweden, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law86 87

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In Sweden, civilians are not allowed to possess automatic firearms, firearms disguised as other objects, and armour-piercing, incendiary and expanding ammunition88 89

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In Sweden, private possession of fully automatic weapons is prohibited88 89 32

Regulation of Semiautomatic Assault Weapons

In Sweden, private possession of semi-automatic assault weapons is permitted only with special authorisation90 91 89

Regulation of Handguns

In Sweden, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is permitted under licence, in some cases, but not for the protection of person or property82 88 90 91 89 32

Law Regulates Long Guns

In Sweden, civilian possession of rifles and shotguns is regulated by law82 90 91 89 32

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Sweden, only licensed gun owners82 92 88 90 32 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Genuine Reason Required for Firearm Possession

Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in Sweden are required to establish a genuine reason to possess a firearm, for example hunting, target shooting, collection and self-defence (but in practice, no such licences are ever granted)82 93

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in Sweden is 18 years93

Gun Owner Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in Sweden must pass a background check which considers criminal and mental health93 32 records

Domestic Violence and Firearms

Where a past history, or apprehended likelihood of family violence exists, the law in Sweden stipulates in practice8 that a gun licence should be denied or revoked

Firearm Safety Training

In Sweden, an understanding of firearm safety and the law, tested in a theoretical and/or practical training course is required82 for a firearm licence

Licensing Records

In Sweden, authorities maintain a record8 of individual civilians licensed to acquire, possess, sell or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Limit on Number of Guns

Licensed firearm owners in Sweden are permitted to possess only one firearm per licence82

Limit on Quantity, Type of Ammunition

Licensed firearm owners in Sweden are permitted to possess only ammunition suitable for the intended firearm94

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Sweden, the law requires95 96 97 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 Sweden, licensed firearm dealers are required97 to keep a record of each firearm or ammunition purchase, sale or transfer on behalf of a regulating authority

Gun Manufacturer Record Keeping

In Sweden, licensed gun makers are required40 95 to keep a record of each firearm produced, for inspection by a regulating authority

State-Owned Firearm Records

In Sweden, State agencies are required95 96 to maintain records of the storage and movement of all firearms and ammunition under their control

Gun Sales and Transfers

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In Sweden, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful60 98 91

Number of Licensed Gun Dealers

The number of licensed firearm dealers in Sweden is reported to be

2010: 40099

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in Sweden include82 15 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of private firearms and ammunition by licensed gun owners

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Government

Government regulations in Sweden include100 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in Sweden include8 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition while in transit

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In Sweden, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is required (in practice rather than law)40 96 101 102 103 104

Firearm Tracing

In Sweden, state authorities carry out105 102 103 97 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Carrying Guns

Law Regulates Firearms in Public

In Sweden, carrying a gun in a public place is regulated by law32

Carrying Guns Openly in Public

In Sweden, carrying a firearm in plain view in a public place is allowed without a permit only in exceptional circumstances8

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In Sweden, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm106 is four years in prison60 107

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Surrendered in Gun Amnesty

ChartIn Sweden, the number of firearms voluntarily surrendered in recent arms amnesty and collection programmes is reported to be

2013: 15,132108 109
2007: 13,000109
1993: 17,000

Firearms Surrendered and Seized

ChartIn Sweden, the number of firearms voluntarily surrendered, bought back or seized by authorities is reported to be

2015: 7,224110
2014: 115111
2013: 66112
2012: 60
2011: 46
2010: 46

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In Sweden, it is state policy100 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, Sweden 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 Parliament113 114

European Union Export Reporting

Under the European Union Common Position on Arms Exports, Sweden 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 Sweden has submitted one or more national reports115 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 2006116 by Sweden.

Arms Trade Treaty

The Arms Trade Treaty has been signed and ratified117 by Sweden

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 and ratified118 by Sweden

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, Sweden 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 Aspects119

UNPoA Implementation Monitor Score

In its UN small arms Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (PoAIM Phase 1), the Small Arms Survey scored Sweden against its commitments to the PoA, then ranked it at No. 50120 121 122 123 among 159 Member States

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, Sweden has submitted one or more national reports124 125 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In Sweden, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated126 125

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Sweden, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has not been designated126 125

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of Sweden submitted to the UN from 2001 to 2010, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities was apparent125

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been donated125 by Sweden to other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Sweden has declared127 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Sweden has been a Member State of the United Nations since 1946128

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies lists129 Sweden as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Conflict Profile

For a profile of conflict in Sweden, select the Link icon to open an external web page from the UCDP Conflict Encyclopedia at Uppsala University

Global Peace Index

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


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