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Sweden — 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 Sweden is 2,800,0001

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

The estimated rate of private gun ownership (both licit and illicit) in Sweden is 31.61 firearms per 100 people

Number of Privately Owned Rifles

In Sweden, the number of rifles in civilian possession is reported to be 1,115,0002

Number of Privately Owned Shotguns

In Sweden, the number of shotguns in civilian possession is reported to be 915,0002

Number of Privately Owned Handguns

There are reportedly 155,0002 handguns in civilian possession in Sweden

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Sweden ranked at No. 283

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Sweden ranked at No. 101

Number of Licensed Firearm Owners

The number of licensed gun owners in Sweden is reported to be 781,5212

Rate of Licensed Firearm Owners per 100 Population

The rate of licensed firearm owners per 100 people in Sweden is 8.774

Number of Registered Firearms

The number of registered guns in Sweden is reported to be 2,096,7983

Rate of Registered Firearms per 100 Population

The rate of registered guns per 100 people in Sweden is 23.094

Estimated Number of Illicit Firearms

Unlawfully held guns cannot be counted, but in Sweden there are estimated to be 2004: 4,000,0005

Estimated Rate of Illicit Firearms per 100 Population

Unlawfully held guns cannot be counted, but in Sweden there are estimated to be 2004: 44.224 illicit firearms per 100 people

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Sweden are reported to have 920,0006 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Sweden are reported to have 32,6527 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Total Number of Gun Deaths

ChartIn Sweden, annual deaths resulting from firearms total

2010: 1388
2009: 1579 10 11
2008: 1389 10 12 11
2007: 135
2006: 1399 10 12
2005: 137
2004: 156
2003: 1419 10 11
2002: 1929 10 12 11
2001: 164
2000: 169
1999: 188
1998: 167
1997: 169
1996: 1779 10 12

Rate of All Gun Deaths per 100,000 People

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

2010: 1.478
2009: 1.684
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

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Sweden, annual homicides by any means total

2011: 8113
2010: 91
2009: 93
2008: 82
2007: 114
2006: 93
2005: 81
2004: 109
2003: 83
2002: 101
2001: 84
2000: 89
1999: 9913 14
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

2011: 0.913
2010: 1.0
2009: 1.0
2008: 0.9
2007: 1.2
2006: 1.0
2005: 0.9
2004: 1.2
2003: 0.9
2002: 1.1
2001: 0.9
2000: 1.0
1999: 1.1
1998: 1.1
1997: 1.0
1996: 1.1
1995: 0.9
1993: 1.3015

Gun Homicides

ChartIn Sweden, annual firearm homicides total

2010: 189
2009: 22
2008: 14
2007: 21
2006: 13
2005: 11
2004: 159 13
2003: 18
2002: 16
2001: 19
2000: 229
1999: 30
1998: 25
1997: 149 13
1996: 11
1995: 2916

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

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

2010: 0.199
2009: 0.24
2008: 0.15
2007: 0.23
2006: 0.14
2005: 0.12
2004: 0.179 13
2003: 0.2
2002: 0.18
2001: 0.21
2000: 0.259
1999: 0.34
1998: 0.28
1997: 0.169 13
1996: 0.12
1995: 0.3316
1993: 0.1817

Handgun Homicides

ChartIn Sweden, annual handgun homicides total

2010: 19
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

2010: 0.019
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

2009: 19
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

2009: 0.019
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

2010: 179
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

2010: 0.189
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)

In Sweden, annual suicides by any means total 1996: 1,25318

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

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

1996: 14.1218
1993: 15.7519

Gun Suicides

ChartIn Sweden, annual firearm suicides total

2010: 11310
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

2010: 1.210
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: 2.0920

Handgun Suicides

ChartIn Sweden, annual handgun suicides total

2010: 1510
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

2010: 0.1610
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

2010: 6310
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

2010: 0.6710
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

2010: 3510
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

2010: 0.3710
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

2010: 612
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

2010: 0.0612
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: 0.0321

Unintentional Handgun Deaths

ChartIn Sweden, annual unintentional shooting deaths by handgun total

2010: 212
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: 0.0212
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

2010: 312
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

2010: 0.0312
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: 112
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: 0.0112
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

2010: 111
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

2010: 0.0111
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: 0.0622

Handgun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

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

2009: 111
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

2009: 0.0111
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

2010: 111
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

2010: 0.0111
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

2009: 211
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

2009: 0.0211
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 licence2

Small Arms Manufacture - World Ranking

In a classification of the world's small, medium and major firearm manufacturers, Sweden is ranked 'small'23

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Regulation of Firearm Exports

In Sweden, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Sweden is reported by Customs to be US$33,506,18331 (2011)32

Small Arms Exports - World Ranking

In a comparison of the world's major/mid-level/minor/unknown small arms exporters, Sweden is categorized as 'mid-level'33

Regulation of Firearm Imports

In Sweden, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law24 25 26 27 28 29

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Sweden is reported by Customs to be US$25,903,70231 (2011)34

Smuggling Guns and Ammunition

Reports suggest that the level of firearm and ammunition smuggling in Sweden is low2

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In Sweden, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are specifically regulated by law24 25 35 36

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, Sweden was ranked at No. 1137

MeasuresGun Regulation

Firearm Regulation - Guiding Policy

The regulation of guns in Sweden is categorised as restrictive38

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Sweden includes the Weapons Act (Vapenlag) 1996, the Military Equipment Act (Lag om Krigsmateriel) 1992,24 the Council Directive of 18 June 1991 on Control of the Acquisition and Possession of Weapons,39 40 the European Union Firearms Regulation of 2012 and the Common Position on the Control of Arms Brokering of 200341

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Sweden are regulated by the European Commission40

Right to Possess Firearms

In Sweden, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law42

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 ammunition43 44

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In Sweden, private possession of fully automatic weapons is prohibited43 44

Regulation of Semiautomatic Assault Weapons

In Sweden, private possession of semi-automatic assault weapons is permitted only with special authorisation45 46 44

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 property43 45 46 44

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Sweden, only licensed gun owners47 43 45 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 prove genuine reason to possess a firearm, for example, hunting, target shooting, collection, security48

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in Sweden is 18 years48

Gun Licence Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in Sweden must pass a background check which considers criminal and mental48 records

Domestic Violence and Firearms

Where a past history, or apprehended likelihood of family violence exists, the law in Sweden stipulates in practice2 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 required2 for a firearm licence

Licensing Records

In Sweden, authorities maintain a record2 of individual civilians licensed to acquire, possess, sell or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Limit on Quantity, Type of Ammunition

Licensed firearm owners in Sweden are permitted to possess only ammunition suitable for the intended firearm49

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Sweden, the law requires50 51 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 required51 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 required50 to keep a record of each firearm produced, for inspection by a regulating authority

State-Owned Firearm Records

In Sweden, State agencies are required50 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 unlawful52 46

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in Sweden include2 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of private firearms and ammunition by licensed gun owners

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in Sweden include2 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)53 54

Firearm Tracing

In Sweden, state authorities carry out53 54 51 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Carrying Guns

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 circumstances2

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 Parliament55 56

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 reports57 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 200658 by Sweden.

United Nations Arms Trade Treaty

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty has been signed and ratified59 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 ratified60 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 Aspects61

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. 5062 63 64 65 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 reports66 67 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 designated68 67

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Sweden, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has not been designated68 67

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of Sweden submitted to the UN, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities is apparent67

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been donated67 by Sweden to other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Sweden has declared69 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 194670

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies lists71 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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