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Sweden an Armed Country

Few countries have more weapons per inhabitant than Sweden but the legal weapons are rarely used in crime

Fokus (Sweden)

12 November 2010

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[Editor's note: Translated by from Swedish into English]

In total, there are nearly two million registered weapons within the country's borders, distributed among 628,000 weapons owners, which places Sweden among the world's most armed countries.

This is mainly explained by the widespread hunter tradition - almost one million of the weapons are rifles and over 700,000 are shotguns. But it also depends on the shooting clubs: the Swedish Sports Association has about 100,000 members and the Swedish Gunfishing Association has around 15,000 members, one of them is the now suspected 38-year-old.

For such purposes, there is a black market estimated between 30,000 and 40,000 illegal weapons in Sweden. For between 1,000 and 17,000 kronor, you get a gun in the underworld, according to the Rikskriminalpolisen, depending on the age, condition and model.

These are - smuggled via the Öresund Bridge or ferry from Poland - which accounts for 97 percent of all seizure weapons in connection with crime, according to information from the Norwegian Forensic Laboratory.

Obtaining a legal weapon from any of the country's 400 gun dealers is governed by relatively rigorous rules regarding permits, supervision and storage. 

Given the large amount of weapons in Sweden and the fact that one third of all medical visits in Sweden are due to mental health - a total of 40,000 people receive psychiatric care every year - around a thousand medical reports per year is a scarily low figure.

ID: N695

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