First of all, sorry. My English is not very good. I understand everything completely with no difficulties, but I am not very good with written English. But I will try to explain our gun laws. I hope you will understand even if my English is lousy.
We actually have very strict laws here. Basically we are not allowed to carry guns in public places at all. They must be kept at home and they must be locked with a gun lock/trigger lock/etc and they must be hidden.
There are only 2 exceptions: going to the shooting track and taking a gun to a gunsmith. When carrying a gun to the track, it must be hidden in a bag etc. Not holstered. The gun mustn't be visible in the bag. It mustn't be loaded.
If you own more than 5 semiautomatics, you'll have to buy a (very expensive), approved safe where you must keep your guns.
The process of getting a gun goes like this:
- First you fill an application and take it to the police station. In the application you must tell a very good reason what you need the gun for. Plinking is not an acceptable reason. Self defense is a NO NO!! If you mention something about self defence, you will propably never get a license. Self defence with a gun propably leads to murder charge here. You are NEVER allowed to defence yourself with a gun. The only accepted reasons are sport shooting and hunting. When it comes to sport shooting, it must be sc. official event, typically only ISSF events are accepted.
Hunting with a pistol of revolver is illegal. Only rifles are allowed for hunting. If you hunt with a .22 LR, the muzzle energy must be at least 150 J or it is illegal.
-Then you'll have to wait for a few weeks.
- While waiting, the police makes a complete background check on you. If you have for example too many traffic violations, it is very possible you wont get a gun license. Same with DUI etc. If you use much alcohol and the cops know about it, you will propably not get a license. If you, your family member or even your friends are members of a criminal streetgang etc. you won't get a license,
- Then the police wants to meet you. They ask you many (even very personal) questions about your life, economical situation, your health and shooting and observe you very carefully. If you give the wrong answers, or act strangely, you wont get a license.
- Then you'll have to wait for a couple of weeks again.
- Then you'll get a license to buy a gun. Or not.
- If you get a license, you can buy the gun. After you buy the gun, you must once again go to the police station and you must take the gun with you. The police will inspect the gun to make sure it is legal. For example the lenght of a rifle must be more than 840 mm. The pistol must be bigger than 130 x 180 mm, a revolver must be at least 140 x 190 mm. etc.
- After the gun has been inspected, you'll have to wait for 2 weeks and you'll get your final license. It is not a license to carry a gun. Just to own one. When you buy your first gun, the license is valid only for one year. After that, you must prove that you have used the gun for the purpose you told in the application. If you are not able to prove it, they will take your license, you must leave the gun at the police station and try to sell it. If you don't sell it, the police will, in an auction.
Typically you'll get a license only for a .22 if it is your first gun.
The laws are very tight but still...Finland is the third country in the world if we measure the guns per capita. US is the most armed nation, then comes Yemen, then Finland. There are about 5 million people living in Finland and 1.6 million legal guns owned by the civilians.
Approximately 7 people are killed here every year with legal guns. 12 with illegal guns