Sweden considers further increasing penalties for weapons crimes

The Swedish government is considering further increasing the punishments for weapons crimes in the country in an effort to decrease the number of illegal weapons in circulation.

Sweden considers further increasing penalties for weapons crimes
File photo of a gun seized by Swedish police. Photo: Polisen

The penalties for weapons crimes in Sweden were already increased at the turn of the year, but further tightening could be on the table following a recommendation by the parliamentary justice committee.

“We have to ensure we stop more weapons from entering Sweden, and that there are serious consequences if you take illegal weapons into Sweden,” Justice Minister Morgan Johansson told Sveriges Radio.

IN DEPTH: What Sweden is doing about illegal weapons

Grenades seized by Bosnian police on their way to Sweden in 2014. Photo: Bosnian police

Part of the move would include more weapons crimes being treated by Swedish law as “particularly serious”, while the penalties for smuggling will be revised. An already ongoing government investigation into weapons was tasked on Thursday with developing concrete proposals in the area of penalties.

“Right now the penalty for aggravated smuggling crimes is so low – we're talking about a minimum penalty of six months, so I want to get that punishment raised too,” Johansson said.

The chairperson of the parliamentary justice committee, Tomas Tobé from the opposition Alliance coalition, said he was happy with the decision.

“The Alliance has demanded this and the parliament has also decided on it. It’s to do with us having 200 criminal gangs in Sweden who go around with illegal weapons, and we should ensure that there is tougher punishment for it,” he said.

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