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Sweden launches new weapons amnesty

Sweden launches new weapons amnesty

Published: 01 Mar 2013 07:55 GMT+01:00
Updated: 01 Mar 2013 07:55 GMT+01:00

Sweden on Friday commenced with its first weapons amnesty in more than five years, allowing anyone to turn illegal firearms in to police with no questions asked.

"From a law enforcement perspective, we are happy to have a new, temporary weapons amnesty underway," Detective Peter Thorsell of the legal division of the National Police Board (Rikspolisstyrelsen) said in a statement.

"Reducing illegal weapons possession is a very important measure for reducing gun violence."

According to the terms of the amnesty, which lasts from March 1st through May 31st, 2013, anyone can turn in a firearm or ammunition without the risk of being charged with illegal weapons possession.

To avoid prosecution, people must turn the weapons in voluntarily and police have agreed not to ask any questions or make inquiries as to the origins of the weapons.

The goal of the programme is to reduce the number of illegal weapons on Sweden's streets.

"Compared with licenced weapons, there is a much higher risk that illegal weapons will be misused or fall into the wrong hands," said Thorsell.

"These are firearms that are often stored improperly, tucked away or hidden in attics or sheds."

Police also hope the amnesty will prompt people with modified or homemade firearms to turn them in.

The last time Sweden carried out a weapons amnesty was in 2007, at which time roughly 13,000 firearms were turned in to police.

Following the amnesty, the weapons and ammunition collected by police will be destroyed.

TT/The Local/dl

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Your comments about this article

20:00 March 1, 2013 by Jay Carrigan
In Canada you're allowed semi automatic weapons and we still have a low crime rate,so i see no harm in allowing this.
23:27 March 1, 2013 by theobserver
2012 Homicide rates per 100 000 people in a few countries (source: BBC):

Sweden 0.41

Poland 0.09

Czech Reupbic 0.19

Denmark 0.27

Hungary 0.07

Israel 0.09

Jordan 0.49

Tajikistan 0.22

Japan 0.01

India 0.26

Kyrgyzstan 0.54

Gun-related murder rates in the "developed" world (source: OECD):

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/files/2012/12/firearm-OECD-UN-data3.jpg

Enough said.
23:59 March 1, 2013 by DavidtheNorseman
This is a smart program.

Compared with licenced weapons, there is a much higher risk that illegal weapons will be misused or fall into the wrong hands," said Thorsell

Very true. Cost savings and savings in crime will be good, too.

@Jay - if folks turn them in then they don't want them around anyways and this is a good way of getting black market weapons off the street for very little in resources. People who legally have guns and want to keep them (Swedes have lots of guns at home) can and do.
11:10 March 2, 2013 by StockholmSam
@theobserver

What about Switzerland, which has a higher rate of gun ownership than Iraq but a lower homicide rate? Can it be tied so tightly to gun ownership or are their other factors at play that need to be addressed in Sweden in order to solve this catastrophic murder rate in Sweden (where one person out of every 244,000 people gets killed with a gun).
22:50 March 3, 2013 by Reason and Realism
The accessibility of guns is not the only factor in gun related homicide statistics, but it does correlate with gun deaths.

A gun buyback program and changes in gun ownership laws have reduced mass shootings in Australia, and have accelerated the rate of decline of gun related homicides (both self inflicted and murder rates),

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2704353/

In the 18 years before the gun law reforms after the Port Arthur massacre, there were 13 mass shootings in Australia, and in the 17 years afterwards, there has been one mass shooting with two fatalities.

No laws require 100% success rates for their justification (just like speeding tickets do not reduce speeding to zero). I am not against gun ownership for hunting and sport shooting, but semi and fully automatics with large clips have no place in civilized society outside of closely monitored storage lockers in shooting ranges, or in the hands of special police and military units.
18:31 March 8, 2013 by kemoe
About shooting in Australia after the gun ban. Mass shootings are down but murders and rapes have been increasing. Hmmm, I wonder why?
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