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Home NATIONALAbsence of licencing leads to a spread of unregistered firearms
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Sun, 03 Nov, 2013 02:38:03 AM
Govt to formulate guidelines starter pistol licenses
FTimes-STT Report, November 3
 
File picture of pistol. Photo - Lehtikuva.
The number of unregistered pistols has increased significantly in Finland in recent times because of an absence of a licensing procedure.
 
Police said that the number of unregistered starter pistols could be between 10,000 and 20,000 as the licensing process could not start because of a want of guidelines.
 
The provision for having mandatory licences to carrying starter pistols and shooting blank cartridges was introduced in 2011.
 
Chief Police Superintendent Reima Pensala told the STT that the reason behind this was the fact that the licensing process had been held up. He said that they had been waiting for a guideline.
 
Sources said the law enforcement agencies and the interior ministry held a meeting on Friday and discussed ways to find out a rational licensing procedure.
 
Police expressed concerns that there would be huge pressure after launching the licensing process.
 
Starter pistols are normally used in sports and dog related hobbies.
 
On August 9, the government disclosed a plan to amend the Firearms Act for strictly monitoring the issuance of licences and the use of arms in hunting.
 
The law will also extend the age limit of procuring arms to 20 years for private users. The amendment proposal is expected to be placed in parliament soon.
 
According to the proposed amendment, licences for handguns would be initially issued for five years on trial basis and the authority would make final decision about permanent licences after reviewing the usage during the trial period.
 
Holders would need to prove the usefulness of the forest guns, rifles, airguns and other handguns every five years for continuing to have valid licences.
 
The provision would also be applicable for the permanent licence holders. As per the existing law, a license remains valid till the death of the licence holder.
 
The authority will also examine the aptitude to use firearms before issuing the licences. In this case, the licence seekers need certificate from shooting experts after having performed in shooting clubs.
 
Police may also ask the applicants to procure health certificates from physicians as proofs of fitness for being able to get a licence, sources said.
 
The age limit for getting permission for being able to carry handguns would be extended to 20 years from the existing 18, although licences for rifles and shotguns could be issued to younger people.
 
The firearm acts was last amended in June 2011.
 
 
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