Firearms are used in murders, attempted murders or robberies three times a day in Sweden, according to statistics from the National Police Board.
In 2004, police registered 1,187 such crimes involving guns, a similar figure to the previous two years, reported Göteborgs-Posten. But the difference is that the kind of weapon has changed.
“Before, there were a lot of shotguns – now it’s all automatic weapons,” said Per-Olof Johansson, a detective in the Gothenburg police reconnaissance division.
“In the last five years we’ve also confiscated a lot of hand grenades.”
The number of weapons seized has increased three years in a row. Of the 1,441 weapons which were confiscated in 2004, 57% were smaller pistols and revolvers.
And while the number of thefts from Swedish weapon stocks has reduced, the number of firearms being brought in from the Balkans has increased. Last year police confiscated 44 CZ pistols. Half were produced in Serbia-Montenegro and half came from the Czech Republic.
The street price for a pistol, according to the National Police Board figures, is 7,000 to 12,000 kronor. A light automatic rifle costs around 20,000 kronor.