Finland proposes a ban on guns

Finland ranks fifth worldwide in gun owners per capita

Finland proposes a ban on guns On Sept. 23, 2008, a culinary student named Matti Juhani Saari walked into a vocational college in Kauhajoki, Finland, drew a semi-automatic pistol, and killed 10 people before taking his own life. Less than a year earlier, an 18-year-old fatally shot eight people at a high school in Tuusula, 50 km north of Helsinki, before killing himself. In the wake of Saari’s rampage, Finnish Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen promised a grieving nation that “events like this would not happen again.” Now, he is trying to back up those words with legislation.

Finland, population 5.3. million, has 650,000 licensed gun owners, ranking it fifth in civilian gun ownership per capita behind the United States, Yemen, Switzerland and Serbia, according to the Geneva-based Small Arms Survey. But since the shootings, the country has been debating whether to introduce greater restrictions on gun ownership. Last week, a Finnish government commission set up to investigate the shooting in Kauhajoki proposed a ban on semi-automatic handguns. The commission’s report noted that Saari “used a self-loading or semi-automatic firearm, which was small-calibre but still capable of inflicting serious damage.” In addition, the commission suggested that the minimum age for owning a gun be raised from 15 to 20, and that permits be temporary and require two years of proven shooting practice. Parliament is now debating whether to go ahead with the commission’s recommendations.

But no matter how strict Finnish law gets, there are no guarantees future massacres will be thwarted: last March in Winnenden, Germany, a 17-year-old walked into the secondary school he graduated from and killed 15 people before taking his own life. At the time, German law prohibited anybody under the age of 18 from buying a handgun, and required an ownership licence and background check for anyone who wanted to purchase one. Since then, Germany has passed legislation to implement an electronic, nationwide weapons registry and has approved random home inspections of gun owners.




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Finland proposes a ban on guns

  1. I applaud Finland's aggressive mandate but it seems that if someone wants to get a gun and kill people, they'll sadly find it somehow.

  2. henry,your an idiot,as are the gun grabber`s that take gun`s out the hand`s of responsible citizen`s!

  3. Banning civilian ownership of firearms leads to an increase in criminal violence. It'll happen in Finland just like it's happened everywhere else it's been tried. Giving the criminals a government guarantee that their victims are unarmed and defenseless does *not* reduce violent crime. A person does not become safer by being unable to defend themselves. A defenceless populace serves only to embolden the still-armed criminal.

    Disarmament is bad for citizens, but good for those who would control or prey upon them.

    • Assuming this is true, yOu must be pleased then, that Finland is not banning firearms.

  4. Metal detectors at schools might help. Just a thought.

    • No, it won't, maybe to stupid people, but not gangs and mafia's.

  5. Gun banning is always the politicians answer and it NEVER works! Look at the growth industry in Home Invasions and Gun Crime in the UK since their foray into gun banning.

    It is interesting that Germany hasn't gotten over it "Third Reich" tendancies yet either: " Germany has….approved random home inspections of gun owners."

  6. Gun bans have never worked. Self defense will always needed.and confiscation will leave only criminals with guns. You should not punish everyone for the crimes of a few.

  7. "…last March in Winnenden, Germany, a 17-year-old walked into the secondary school he graduated from and killed 15 people before taking his own life. At the time, German law prohibited anybody under the age of 18 from buying a handgun, and required an ownership licence and background check for anyone who wanted to purchase one. "

    What? You mean suicidal maniacs might not heed the gun laws?

  8. I suspect severe gun restrictions will be very effective in Finland, helped along by the fact it doesn't border on the United States.

  9. Then explain Great Britain and Jamaica, Mike T. Both *islands,* and neither neigbouring the nasty USA. Great Britain instituted a near total ban on all civilian firearms ownership and has seen violent crime with firearms increase nearly 400% according to some sources. It is now the most violent nation in the European Union — including the Balkans.

    Gun bans harm the innocent.

  10. I object to the photograph accompanying the article. Surely a more typical image would show a target shooter or hunter aiming at the intended target (as opposed to the camera) or a picture taken in a gun shop or at a gunsmith's bench. This kind of silly media bias does nothing to encourage intelligent discourse concerning gun control.

  11. What if the Red Army comes back though?

  12. life is as simple as the rhetoric we use.

    Talk about the things you need and outside Chronological time they will arrive.

    Talk about the things we need,NOT and they too wil frequent our lives.

    Of course ther is NOT better or worse, there is only DIFFERENT

    Accentuate the positive when it’s the positive you really need.


  13. The total ban of handguns suggested by these morons would destroy Finnish civil defence system and training totally, end ALL military and civilian competitions with firearms on all levels, destroy one of a kind invaluable historical items, demish the lives of over 200 000 Finns, generate over 20 000 extra jobless people etc. etc. – All in all, make Finland and Finns miserable :(!

    I hope democracy will prewail and no totalitaristic gun bans are not made – they don't sove anything and there is evidense to back it up – every time. What would they have said if one of the nut casses would have blown a bomb instead of using firearm? Ban bombs? What ban in that case would help make them feel bettem and fuzzier inside?

    - Finn

  14. When will they just get on with it and ban free will?

  15. For "some reason" Finnish Green party especially, with support from left wind social democrats + old communists + Center Party particularly seem to be the very source of people looking after Soviet type of DDR legistlation with the firearms (äla fashion de Britain). We know how badly it backfired in UK.
    Perhaps just a coinsidence that most of these very people trying to get total bans on firearms used to have deep symphaties to Soviet Union and DDR. Center Party Prime Minister Mr. Vanhanen is right now under criminal investication of his own (corruption) and he desperately tries to get attention to "more important issues" as well.

  16. Did I read the article wrong or is the Finnish govt. talking about banning “semi-automatic hand guns”! I think even sportsmen can agree that these pistols aren’t really “sporting guns” I am not sure where you guys live but to my knowledge, murder in Canada is actually on the decline and we have never embraced the right to carry a handgun for protection. Guns are for farmers to protect their livestock and people who like to shoot at targets; that’s it! Military and police firearms have no place in civilian hands.

    • Your post is so absurd I don't know where to start. What sportsmen would agree that a pistol is not a sporting gun? What does that even mean? Is murder on the decline? If so, what does that have to do with your incorrect statement that we have "never embraced the right to carry a handgun for protection" . Who are you to decide what is an acceptable gun, who can own that gun, and what they can do with it?

  17. Have you seen the fixed-blade knives the Finns carry? And I mean all Finns.

  18. After years of following this debate, I still can't figure out what the thinking is behind gun bans. How is it that a ban on guns would lessen violent crime? Violent criminals don't observe guns laws. They're criminals.

  19. Freedom isn't free. I have never been prouder in my life to be a Finn as the day my Mother told me about my people, the Finns, standing up to the Soviet Union and winning and also about Finland being the only country in the world to pay their war debts. Talk about Sisu. Would you have my beloved Finland overtaken by any other country again? Would the lives of my ancestors in Ikaalinen and Parkano who fought and died for your freedom against," The Bear" and other countries be in vain? Just give up your arms and your right to defend yourselves against foreign and domestic criminals and THEY will step in and take you over . You will then again be in their power. History oft times repeats itself. History has proven that that kind of power is always evil. May common sense and the logic and the rights of the Finns prevail.

  20. It is time to get guns under control especially out of schools. If we don't remove the guns out of the schools, there might not be any students left to teach in the schools.

  21. I think there should be some consideration.I think the ban on guns towards all is not a great idea.

  22. On Sept. 23, 2008, a culinary student named Matti Juhani Saari walked into a vocational college in Kauhajoki, Finland, drew a semi-automatic pistol, and killed 10 people before taking his own life.

  23. Finland proposes a ban on guns – A great and needed topic to discuss.

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