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New gun law proposal frustrates Swedish police

New gun law proposal frustrates Swedish police

Published: 20 Jan 2012 07:58 GMT+01:00
Updated: 20 Jan 2012 07:58 GMT+01:00

In a proposal to the Swedish Council on Legislation's (Lagrådet) the government has suggested implementing stricter penalties for carrying a weapon in a public place.

However, at present they are not willing to grant police the wire tapping capabilities for less serious crimes, powers which police have long sought.

“We have made every effort to signal the need for this and we hope that the government will continue to work on it. We really do need to have these capabilities,” said Skåne police county head Eva Årestad to news agency TT.

According to Årestad, the government’s stance is a disappointment to the police officers that work to combat illegal weapons on Malmö's streets.

“They see these problems daily and it is frustrating that we are unable to use the tools that exist when we are battling serious organized crime,” Årestad said.

According to minister for justice Beatrice Ask, the government is continuing to work on the question.

“I think that it is important at present that the police have a better arsenal against this and the fact that it is now going to be considered a more serious crime will increase their abilities to implement these measures,” she said to TT.

Ask pointed to the fact that the initial report had not suggested any tightening of the laws and that more weapons crimes now will be classified as serious.

“But to use secret surveillance, the penalties would need to be hiked up further and that may not be warranted for every type of weapons crime,” she said.

“It is, however, a question that I will be considering very seriously, as the police’s ability to prevent this kind of crime is extremely important.”

The tightening of Swedish weapons laws will be presented by Ask in March, according to Sveriges Radio (SR).

To carry a weapon in a public place or at a school will be treated as particularly serious, according to the new rules. It will be considered a serious offence with a penalty of least 6 months in prison.

It will also be considered an offence to keep a weapon for someone else or to bring a weapon into Sweden without declaring it at customs.

“We are making clear what many probably already think is an offence, but isn’t,” said Beatrice Ask to TT.

The National Police Board (Rikspolisstyrelsen) and the Swedish customs agency (Tullverket) are currently putting together a report on the widespread smuggling of weapons over the border to Sweden.

TT/The Local/rm (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

08:35 January 20, 2012 by Kevin Harris
An increase to six months in prison for taking a gun into a school. What was it before? A fine? I don't think the government have quite got their heads around gun crime just yet.
08:37 January 20, 2012 by robban70226
ere is a hard to find balance between protecting the community from the criminals and risking the creation of a Swedish Gestapo Where the community will need to protect themselves from the police, There will be a price to pay in the long term, Balance and accountability must be carefully established and not based oh hyper naive sensational newspapers
08:59 January 20, 2012 by zooeden
This is the police in a nut shell, tapping phones is not the solution for the incompetent police, shure they wanna catch the little players selling weed and hash cause its soooo criminal and soooo bad for society and bla bla bla. The tools they need for catching weapons is a totally more complex and elaborated plan, tapping phones, they have "the wire" series as classes or what???
09:25 January 20, 2012 by RobinHood
@Robban

That's one way of looking at it. Another way is that people who use guns to commit crime should indeed feel the need to protect themselves from the "Swedish Gestapo". They should feel bugged, filmed, staked out, followed, and generally persecuted by fair means or foul until they are seperated from their weapons. And then they should be imprisoned for a very long time as a punishment to themselves, and a message to armed criminals still out there that using a gun in a crime can dramatically change your life as well as the life of your victim and his/her familiy.

After five gun murders, in one month, in one city, I think your traditional Swedish liberal sensitivities towards the policing of violent armed criminals has pretty much proved to be a hopeless failure. Bring on the "Swedish Gestapo".
09:34 January 20, 2012 by skumdum
Or you could just deport them. Problem solved.
11:10 January 20, 2012 by Central European
I think that means, that real criminals and mass murderes like in Norway will be soon 100 percent sure that they are only armed person in surroundings area........

The tight protection of public sometimes leads to strange situation that police comando spent 15-20 minutes to claim their weapons from "safe place" and, they watch TV helicopters flying ahead them to place where unarmed people are killed including unarmed guardians, couse to keep weapon is dangerous and we are trying to make country save.........
12:14 January 20, 2012 by Svensksmith
The problem with most gun legislation is the criminals don't follow the laws.
13:23 January 20, 2012 by Reason abd Realism
@ Central European

The problem of police taking too long to access weapons can be trivially solved by police department practices, in the way the police arm themselves and where extra weapons are stored. Fix that first before you advocate a gun in every home.

@ RobinHood (Post #4)

Agree with you 100%.
16:18 January 20, 2012 by millionmileman
I'm surprised that he has not yet blamed the M0$$aD!
16:26 January 20, 2012 by Vill
Better yet, make stricter gun laws for criminals and loosen the gun laws for law-abiding citizens.
19:39 January 20, 2012 by Observant
Umm.... much being said without real thought - as usual.

First ANY Minister of Justice SHOULD be a person with practical experience and NOT just a politician. What practical experience does ASK have = ZERO.

The punishment for having an unlicensed weapon should be 3 years imprisonment and a ban on having a firearm for 10 years the time starting AFTER the completion of their prison sentence. A three year sentence would be suitable owing to the damage a weapon can cause.

All persons who have legally owned weapons which does NOT require a firearms certificate - these persons are those who had weapons in their possession PRIOR to new legislation coming into force - should be automatically and unrestrictedly given a license for these weapons. Persons with starting pistols, signal pistols and weapons manufactured before 1860 which are considered unlicensed in some respects under older laws SHOULD be granted a license and NOT be told that as they had the weapon prior to current laws they are permitted to continue possessing it. This is a load of crap but THAT is how the idiotic Swedish Police operate.

The Swedish Police have far too much 'discretion' in who has and who has not the right to hold a weapon. This is not governed by Parliament which it should be.

The responsibility for issuing firearm certificates SHOULD be taken away from the Police and given to the respective Shooting Sport Organisations. They are the real professionals in shooting and not the police who THINK they are the professionals.

There should be an amnesty for all unlicensed or illegal weapons to be handed in to the authorities. Possession there after of an illegal weapon SHOULD be 10 years in prison without parole and a life-time ban from holding a firearm. A second offence would constitute LIFE in prison without parole.

Weapon licenses should be issued for the lifetime of the holder - like it used to be - and not just for 5 years as it is now. There should be a bi-annual (every other year) test for every holder of a weapon license which should be administered by their respective Shooting Club which they must pass in order to continue possession of that particular weapon.

Persons who unfortunately have a criminal conviction should NOT necessarily be prevented from holding a weapon license. As the matter is now they ARE prevented but THIS is total nonsense and just shows that the Swedish Police today cannot handle situations and are unable to determine severities of crime..

NOW then if Sweden is really serious about tightening the Weapon Laws then what I have outlined above MUST be implemented any thing less than that would be an absolute waste of public time and money.

But knowing the Swedish Government and Police they will just pussy-foot around the Weapon Laws by slightly changing this or that and that is what they call TIGHTENING THE WEAPON LAWS!!!!
20:05 January 20, 2012 by RobinHood
@Observant

Congratulations. You win the award for the most pompous post of January. And you did it in the first sentence, I didn't bother reading the rest, but I'm sure it continues in the same vein. Good job!
05:31 January 21, 2012 by Grokh
only people allowed to carry guns should be the police period.
23:00 January 22, 2012 by TheWatchman
@ Grokh

Don't you understand that if none of the civilians have guns, the criminals will have an advantage? If civilians are armed, they can at least stop the shooter after 1 or 2 people are wounded, not 20 or 30. Unless there are absolutely zero guns in the country, disarming the country will do more bad than good.
01:06 January 23, 2012 by Michael58
I love how the new law will require that anyone bringing a gun into Sweden must register it with Customs, especially when the Customs booths at the Oresund Bridge are pretty much abandoned! That bridge has allowed exponential growth in crime especially for Malmö! And the reason for so much crime in Malmö compared to other cities is that the bridge is the perfect avenue for escape back to Eastern Europe. Oh I'm sorry was that a racially sensitive comment??
09:29 February 5, 2012 by Eagle in NYC
It is the gun restrictions that have caused the violence in Malmö, not the lack of more restrictions. You've made it a crime to own a gun, so now only criminals own guns. And the law abiding Swedes are easy prey for the criminals with guns.

So, you don't have a gun problem per se. You have a gun distribution problem. But mostly you have an immigration problem.

Close the border. And arm the law abiding Swedes.

Take back your beautiful country. Stop committing suicide.
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