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Swedish weapons amnesty yields 9,000 guns

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Swedish weapons amnesty yields 9,000 guns
Some of the weapons handed to police during an earlier amnesty. Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall / TT
18:39 CEST+02:00
Police in Sweden have taken in nearly 9,000 weapons during the three-month weapons amnesty which comes to an end on Monday, Swedish Radio has reported.
That is just short of the 10,000 police said they were hoping for when they launched the amnesty in February, and considerably less than the 15,000 weapons that were handed in during the police's last weapons amnesty in 2013. 
 
But Tommy Fernsand, a police commissioner in Gothenburg, told Swedish Radio that he was nonetheless pleased with the result. 
 
“It's gratifying to see weapons like this disappear from the street,” he said. “We're just as surprised every time. We think it's going to come to an end sometime, and every time it's just getting more and more.” 
 
In Gothenberg, police received 1840 illegal weapons, and 2.1 tonnes of ammunition. 
 
In past amnesty's around half of the weapons handed in have been hunting weapons, 30 percent have been hand guns and 20 percent automatic weapons. They were all later destroyed. 
 
Kjell Borgström, from the police in Halland, told Swedish broadcaster SVT that the amount of weapons being handed in was declining. 
 
“People have left in a whole load of weapons in previous amnesties and now they're starting to run out,” he said.
 
He said that a lot of the weapons handed in were old 100-year-old rifles. 
 
"It's mostly scrap weapons. People may have had an unlicensed rifle that has been stored under the bed.” 
 
He said he thought very few of the weapons left in during the amnesties came from criminals. 
 
“It's not that likely that criminals would hand in the tools of their trade,” he said. “It's pretty naive to believe that.” 
 
When an amnesty was held in 2007, 13,000 firearms and 14 tonnes of ammunition were left at police stations around the country, and when one was held in 1993, 17,000 firearms and 15 tonnes of ammunition were handed in.
 
The Swedish government has also proposed a further amnesty between October 2018 and January 2019 for grenades, in an effort to get the explosives off Sweden's streets following an increase in illegal use of them since 2015.
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