August 17th, 2009 01:13 PM
Finland: New Gun Law Opening Doors To Police
New Gun Law Opening Doors To Police | News | YLE Uutiset | yle.fi
New gun control legislation may give police new enforcement powers. The Sunday newspaper supplement Sunnuntaisuomalainen writes that new legislation, under preparation, will allow the police to inspect the homes of gun permit holders without the need to establish suspicion of a crime.
However, they will have to inform the permit holder of their intention two weeks in advance.
Tougher gun laws being formulated in the wake of school shootings in Finland will require membership in a target shooting club as a condition for a handgun permit. The law is being opposed by many gun enthusiasts.
"If the law is enacted, it will cause problems mainly for normal, honest people," Arms Historic Society of Finland Chairman Jari Mäkinen said to Sunnuntaisuomalainen.
In addition to home inspections, gun enthusiasts are also opposed to provisions requiring club membership. Anyone seeking a permit to own a handgun will be required to be at least 20 years of age and to be able to prove a minimum of two years of supervised shooting range practice at a club. Jari Mäkinen points out that Finland is a sparsely populated country where the nearest gun club might be hundreds of kilometres away. He believes that the new law will block the path to the top of the sport for many young shooting competitors.
The official responsible for the draft legislation, Jouni Laiho of the Ministry of the Interior, notes that the law cannot be written to please everyone. He also points to the fact that following school shootings, solid political backing arose for tougher gun control laws.
The new law will affect the 670,000 Finns who have gun permits. Various gun hobbyist organizations have been included in the preparation of the draft, but they claim that their views have been completely ignored.
A grouping of about 20 organizations representing hunters, sports shooters, military reservists, gun collectors and gun merchants is working to see that the new gun control legislation is thrown out when it comes before Parliament in September.
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch; Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."
-- Benjamin Franklin
August 17th, 2009 01:43 PM
I can see that sort of thing happening here. Wasn't it Boston that had a program that "allowed" you to "invite" the police in to search your place for illegal guns? Then, if they found one that was not connected to a crime, you wouldn't be charged.
You may notice that this bill is also in response to "school shootings". Does Finland have the same "gun free school zones" that we do? Sometimes I feel like we are just hanging open season on our kids signs around our schools.
I hope the Finns can get this thrown out of their Parliment, and I hope we can just stay ahead of our elected representatives efforts.
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