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Gun smuggling on the rise in Sweden: police

Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 25 May 2011, 14:13

Published: 25 May 2011 14:13 GMT+02:00

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While only 12 weapons have been seized by Swedish customs to date this year, the problem is far more extensive with a large number of unrecorded cases, according to a report by Sveriges Radio (SR).

"We are talking about the post, containers, rail goods, trucks and commercial vessels. There is a huge flow. There are many channels and we are not even close to being able to control everything," said Lars Bäckström at the Swedish customs to SR.

Swedish cities, primarily Gothenburg and Malmö, have been the scene of several shootings in recent months.

Witnesses to a shooting in a Malmö car park on May 11th described the killing as an "execution" in what was apparently a hit with links to organized crime, an increasing problem in both cities.

Police fear that the greater availability of illegal weapons could be behind the rise in gun crimes in Swedish cities with the number of weapons seized increasing from year to year.

According to the latest national police figures for 2008, 850 weapons were seized in Sweden, but police report coming across an increasing number of illegal weapons.

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Lars Bäckström told SR that the customs service is need of reinforcements in order to cope with the influx.

"If you compare with other information and intelligence which we work with then you could say the information on weapons and arms smuggling is thin," he said to SR.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:56 May 25, 2011 by motti
With so many being told to boycott Israeli products, an I expected to believe the excellent Uzis were manufactured in Belgium and not Israel?
16:57 May 25, 2011 by wenddiver
Practically everybody I know in Israel has an UZI and it doesn't seem to have a negative effect on the crime rate.
17:08 May 25, 2011 by zat_xela
Probably because they don't consider it a crime to kill Palestinians.
17:13 May 25, 2011 by TheOneWhoTravels
I just thought of something. Wouldn't that be cool if we took all of the guns in the world and melted them all down for the metal? Instead of guns, we could make stuff like farm tractors for farmers in poor countries. And metal beams for bridges and other infrastructure in poor countries.
18:12 May 25, 2011 by tomsawyerlvx
At Luxembourg airport, I see a k-47 or some think it is a defect and bad's russia subfusile. I think that they must change it lent to a TV-lent to fire to a target or/and they are lamed duck.

18:19 May 25, 2011 by HYBRED
If they made these firearms legal and easier to get, they're wouldn't be a smuggling problem.
19:22 May 25, 2011 by pølse
"When guns are outlawed, only outlaws have guns." -Ronald Reagan

"There's no such thing as a good gun. There's no such thing as a bad gun. A gun in the hands of a bad man is a very dangerous thing. A gun in the hands of a good person is no danger to anyone except the bad guys." -Charlton Heston

"An armed society is a polite society." -Robert Heinlein

19:55 May 25, 2011 by planet.sweden
"Police fear that the greater availability of illegal weapons could be behind the rise in gun crimes" - Vinthagen Simpson

I think that's known as putting the cart before the horse. The reason the guns are coming in is because there's a demand for them among petty thugs, professional criminals, and would be terrorists.

The police sit on their hands and do nothing about this at society's peril.
20:01 May 25, 2011 by Stickeroo
Still there are a very very low amount of gun crimes here even though they are very cheap and readily available. (I'm comparing to where I'm from..Canada..where they are expensive and harder to come by...illegal ones I mean).
20:11 May 25, 2011 by Valdemaratterdag
I love it when people quote Reagan. I like to quote him, too.

"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan 1988
20:41 May 25, 2011 by play nice
a misquote of John Adams, "Facts are stubborn things."
20:55 May 25, 2011 by Boyfriend
I have a question for Swedes (not israelis or american / racists )

How do you feel when some one imports weapons into country which would make it later like hell?

And how do you feel about the Sweden which happens to be the world largest weapons exporter to other countries?

In this case you should not be suprised! I believe anything you do to others it would return to you.
20:57 May 25, 2011 by karex
@HYBRED, great, why don't we suggest to the Swedish government to legalize murder while we're at it?

@polse just the regular bs pro-weapons Americans like to spew right and left. Bottom line: weapons can be classified in two categories: those that are used for hunting and those that are used for crime, murder and mayhem. It's the latter that is illegal around here. Who in their right mind would hunt elk win an Uzi? There can only be one use for a semi-automatic or automatic weapon. That goes for pistols as well.

If I wanted to live in the Wild West, I would move back to the US.
20:57 May 25, 2011 by Grandson of Swedish Emigrants
I hope that Sweden doesn't follow the same silly cycle that many in the USA follow.

If there is a gun crime, rather than prosecuting the crime, make another law that makes improperly using or owning a firearm more illegal.

Then don't prosecute using the new law.

Then enact more legislation to make it an even bigger crime to smuggle weapons or use them illegally.

The truth is that for most laws, the law abiding citizens will behave properly and follow the law, it is the others that don't follow the laws and don't behave properly and they really don't care or pay attension to what the law is.
21:14 May 25, 2011 by HYBRED
@ karex

. "@HYBRED, great, why don't we suggest to the Swedish government to legalize murder while we're at it?"

Thats pretty lame. Is that the best you can do?
21:40 May 25, 2011 by karex
@hybred, no it is not. But, what is the point of legalizing something which was meant for one purpose only, and that purpose is illegal? Does it really make sense to you?
22:05 May 25, 2011 by HYBRED
@ karex

They are not made for "one purpose only".

And if someone in Sweden wanted to murder another they could stuff crackerbread down their throat until they choked. Guns don't hurt anyone, people hurt other people. So why don't you have the Swedish government make people illegal, as you seem to like suggesting things to government?
22:35 May 25, 2011 by karex
I wasn't the one suggesting Sweden to legalize these weapons, which goes against current legislation BTW. As a matter of fact I support the legislation. My creativity must be at an all-time low this evening because aside from going to war (which implies killing people) I can't think of any other practical and legitimate reason for the average citizen to own an automatic weapon unless they are now being used as garden ornaments.
22:40 May 25, 2011 by HYBRED
I can't think of any other practical and legitimate reason for the average citizen to own Soda Stream or a trampoline, but they do.

So you can own what you want, and I will own what I want.
22:50 May 25, 2011 by bramblebush
Well, if those smelly ali babas in Malmo have guns then I need a gun to protect myself from them...and thier smell...
23:17 May 25, 2011 by Grindsprint
yeah hybred! and I can´t belive I am not allowed to build my own nuclear bombs! freakin police state!
23:44 May 25, 2011 by Observour
To those who support guns

Think about the sadness, depression, drunkeness and unwarranted fear of people in the Swedish culture and compare that with the small sentences given to native murderers here . Do you really think that as many Swede can handle guns responsibly like in other states? The police should be effective and we would be alright but I don't want anybody from my neighbour's compound to have a gun.
01:31 May 26, 2011 by Grokh
Sweden is well on its way to turn into the united states, that is quite sad news.

Together with the screw ups the moderaterna have been doing to lower taxes at the expense of selling out the country, and kicking mentally sick people out of their pensions while forcing them to work , which resulted into several suicides this year alone.

sweden is well on its way.

08:38 May 26, 2011 by HYBRED

"Do you really think that as many Swede can handle guns responsibly like in other states?"

Are you implying that Swedes are stupid?
10:59 May 26, 2011 by Puddi
Comments like these make me wonder ... I generally don't hear any such thing on the European continent and I'm quite surprised we actually have people here who think like that. Explain to me the logic of getting MORE guns to STOP gun violence? I for one will not feel safe with a gun below my pillow, and especially not safe knowing the guy next door who's mentally unstable has one.

If anything, the gun laws should be even stricter. Look up Hans van Temsche, from Belgium if you haven't - he bought a shotgun during the day, and used it to shoot and kill some immigrants and a toddler a mere hour later. Is this really what you'd want? People who are "sick" of life the way it is and want to kill people to vent frustration?

Honestly, as Observour already said, it's only a small step to desperation and for a gunner to kill a dozen people before taking his own life!
11:01 May 26, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
New company in Swedes a.s.a.p: POLICE AB
11:01 May 26, 2011 by Angry Ami

Sweden will will never be like the US, and my question is, why are Swedes putting up with the BS? lets be honest, the gun running is done by whom, east Europeans and Russians, just like where I live in Germany, it's the same mafia crap since the fall of the iron curtain, but unfortunately your passive Govt, was too slow to react to the problem when it first came to light, my 2nd question, considering your viking history one would think that Swedes could wipe up the floor with all these foreign scum, but as soon as one swede says something negative about a foreigner even if its justified, then he's branded a racist, my wife is half Swedish, and this stuff makes her crazy, at what point do native people have the right to control foreign criminals in their own land? and if there is one positive thing you can say about the US, even in it's not so great condition at present, at least foreign criminals get hard justice, and that's as it should be.
11:12 May 26, 2011 by Observour

I did not imply Swedes are stupid. I said there is more sadness, depression, drunkeness and unwarranted fear and mistrust of people in Sweden than in other countries which makes it more likely for somebody here to pull the triger at the wrong time and at the wrong people. And of course 'real' Swedes would only get a pat on the hand and made to promise not to kill again.
16:42 May 26, 2011 by wenddiver
Maybe people are depressed, because they don't have enough Guns. I lived in Denmark for a while and I have to admit I became more than a little bored with the whole Safety First Attitude. Upon returning to my then Home New Orleans I immediatly immediatly bought a New COLT Auto Pistol, several clips and a really nice Shark Skin holster. I instantly felt better, more Free, less limited, the whole world just kind of opens up and you feel like you can go anywhere, without worrying about the crimminal element, terrorists or even Oppressive Governments. My mood brightened as soon as the cowaba wood grips hit my hand, I knew that I was Soveriegn in my own country and that the only limits on what I could do were the ones my imagination and self-restraint placed on me. Sure I knew I had an awsome new responsibility to do the right thing and not be a nusance to my neighboors or a burden to the Police, but I have to admit I like the feel of Pistols, I like they way they look, the possibility of adventure they exuded and the fun they provide. I can no more imagine being told I could not have one, than being told I would no longer be allowed to breathe by the Government. There isn't a Monarch in europe that hasn't left their right to have a Gun intact, why should I be any different.
00:52 May 27, 2011 by Avidror
Uzi submachine guns are pictured and this becomes a debate about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as if that was the point of the article... It's incredible. Really! One day an Israeli comedian will make a blue joke and someone will bring that unrelated issue again. 100% sure. Even if it had nothing to do...

@ Observour, #22.

Finland has many weapons and there are depressive people among Finns. But they kill less than Americans.
15:02 May 27, 2011 by munched
@wenddiver Bravo! If you're not a criminal or mentally unstable you should be able to carry a gun to protect yourself from the criminals and the mentally unstable. Before you tell me that's what the police are for, what are they going to do when they're largely represented in the first two groups, seldom there when you need them AND consider themselves and continually considered by the courts, above the law? When they're beating on you, who you gonna call? Ghostbusters?
02:45 May 28, 2011 by wenddiver
@munched- Really whatever happened to the Old US Department of Justice "It's OK we're from the Government we're here to help".

If they really wanted to help they could join in shooting the criminal or hold your box of reload bullets.

An ideal situation would be something like:

0300 Hours-Little lady hears rapist in house and calls the Police FORCE.

0315 Hours- The FORCE shoots the rapist center mass creating a sucking chest wound and asks the Citizen if there is anything else they can do.

0317 Hours-Citizen thanks the FORCE Officers and says "I just wish I was a Man, so I could break his neck and throw him through the window".

0318 Hours- Force Officers throw body out 5th story front window of apartment.

0319 Hours- Neighborhood Watch riddles carcus of barely alive Rapist with their own privately owned firearms, in show of support of for potential rape victim and FORCE Officers.

0320 Hours- FORCE Officers and victim bake fresh cookies and laugh at carcus.

0330- The Federal Enviromental Protection Agency picks up carcus and stuffs and mounts it for victim.

0335- Government sue all member of American Civil Liberties Union in the standard frivoulous Law suite, for causing a permissive Society.

Citzens thank God for our Democratic way of life.
11:34 May 29, 2011 by pølse
Ronald Reagan thrown in for some irony.

The full John Adams quote reads: "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."

In terms of facts and evidence, in Washington DC during the years in which the D.C. handgun ban and trigger lock law was in effect (1977-2007) the Washington, D.C. murder rate averaged 73% higher than it was at the outset of the law. Since that law has been struck down there has been a decline. http://bit.ly/a6Vy0r

Now surely, generally speaking, Americans tend to be more violent and criminal in nature but criminals are criminals no matter where they are and where they come from and they will always find ways to obtain tools of their trade wether in the open or closed markets. As we all know the closed markets always have more violence within them; drugs, prostitution, etc. The gun ban in the UK in 2001 had adverse effects, the restricting firearms had helped make England more crime-ridden than the U.S. Is it not an undeniable human right to be able to defend one's self and family by means of arms?

Comparing Apples to Oranges is not fair, however comparing peaches to nectarines might be. The Swiss model could be adopted by more of Scandinavia. The population of Switzerland is not significantly lower than Sweden compared to landmass. Neither is the variety of immigrants.


Lest we not forget Finland's fairly liberal gun laws and low crime rate involving firearms.
17:29 May 30, 2011 by kenny8076
very good point Polse!! i was going to mention this but you have. I just moved to Sweden from Washington D.C. and it is very true. It was very common to be car jacked at gun point and possibly killed..... crime has steadily decreased since legalizing firearms....... now the criminals know before they stick a pistol to the side of your head and tell you to get out of the car you might be packing........ example

My sisters husband is an ex marine and legally carries a registered .45. he was waiting for a friend to come out of an apartment in a bad neighborhood when a man approached him pointing a gun at him telling him to get out of the car. He wasnt wearing a mask so my sisters husband figured when he got out the man would shoot him to not be able to identify him(that is very common), so her husband got out and while getting out pumped two rounds in his chest. Police investigated for about a week and he was cleared from any wrong doing, there were 2 witnesses. Had he not been able to protect himself he might not be here today.
10:48 May 31, 2011 by motti
It is an offense in Israel to kill, as it says in the 10 commandments.

It is however, encouraged and definately not illegal to kill murder or slaughter Jews in Arab/Moslem countries. If course in those countries, it is normal to slaughter as well, Christians, Budhists, Hindus, Druse, Kurds, other Moslems, and pagans.

Keep to the facts, Zat goes your arguement
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