Saturday, 10 November 2007

Armed adolescents

According to current Finnish law children between15 and 18 years can acquire guns for target shooting or hunting, if granted by their guardian.

A gun permit is required in order to legally be able to purchase a handgun and the arms license is applied for at the local police. The police examine the suitability of the person and the applicants must also have to prove a legal sanction for acquiring the firearm like target shooting as a hobby or hunting. Adolescents in Finland holding a gun permit are today allowed to hunt without adult supervision.

According to the Ministry of the Interior's records there are currently 1,620,000 licensed firearms in Finland, with the country having third most guns per capita in the world. At present there are 56 legal guns for every 100 and about 650,000 firearm license holders with about 60 % of the firearms licensed for hunting purposes. There is currently

“only at the most illegal firearms in tens of thousands in numbers” according to the Ministry of the Interior.

So far Finland has been the only member country in the EU opposing the European Union directive for children under the age of 18 not being allowed to possess any firearms, but now there seems to be a total change of course. The change of opinion seems to stem from the lethal high school shootings that took place in the vicinity of Helsinki couple of days ago.

The government on Friday announced that it is ready to accept the proposed EU directive and that the Parliament is to vote in the matter in the nearest coming weeks in order to sanction the directive.


  1. I thought it happened in Vantaa and not in Helsinki?

  2. Well, Jokela where it took place lies in Vantaa and Vantaa belongs to the so called Metropolitan area like Espoo and Sipoo so I guess it is in the "outskirts of Helsinki", in the capital area.