Finland to amend gun law for tighter control

15:57, January 03, 2010      

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Finnish Interior Minister Anne Holmlund said on Saturday that Finland will amend the gun law to tighten control on guns, Finnish media reported on Saturday.

A 43-year-old man named Ibrahim Shkupolli, a Kosovo Albanian, shot and killed four employees at Sello shopping center in Espoo, southern Finland, as well as his ex-girlfriend at her home, who was also employed there, and finally himself on Thursday.

The shooting rampage has again aroused Finnish people's attention to the country's gun control. Finnish people have long asked for tighter gun control after two school shootings in 2007 and 2008.

Finland's rate of gun ownership ranks the third highest in the world as its 5.3 million populations own 1.6 million registered guns.

Finnish Prime Minister Vanhanen said on Thursday afternoon that the Espoo shooting incident has drawn attention to the large amount of guns in Finland. He also noted that broad-based cooperation within the Finnish society is necessary to avoid such tragedies in the future.

Interior Minister Anne Holmlund said on Saturday that Finland will amend its gun law for tighter control on guns. Furthermore, new legislation will require safer ways of gun-keeping at home in order to reduce illicit weapons obtained through burglary. An illegal handgun was used in Thursday's shooting incident.

According to Anne Holmlund, Finland's present gun registry is primitive. In some cases, license information has been written on a file card without the weapon's serial number or the purpose for which the permit was granted. All the guns with old licenses will have to be re-registered, she said.

She also stressed that all the licenses for people with criminal backgrounds should be revoked.

Source: Xinhua
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