Amid Plague of Gang Shootings and Bombings, Desire to Own Firearm for Self-Defence is Rising in Sweden

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Around 20 per cent of Swedes have stated that they would feel safer in their country if they had the right to self-defence with a firearm, as gang violence and fatal shootings plague the country.

A survey by the firm Novus of 1,043 Swedes between the ages of 18 and 64, found that 20 per cent believed that they would feel safer if they had access to firearms for self-defence purposes. While the amount may seem low by American standards, it resembles a shift in opinion for the historically safe and settled Scandinavian nation.

“This has not happened in a vacuum, but is a reaction to what is happening in Sweden and the world,” Torbjörn Sjöström, CEO of Novus told the newspaper Expressen.

“With daily reports of shootings, we wanted to investigate the citizen’s role on the link between guns, shooting skills and serious violent crimes,” Sjöström said and added that the number of people stating they would feel safer with access to a firearm was extremely high for Sweden.

“This is not the United States, and the fact that over a million Swedes would feel safer if they could arm themselves is a huge change compared to what we are used to seeing in Sweden,” he added.

While ownership of firearms for activities such as hunting and sport shooting is not uncommon in Sweden, owning firearms for self-defence purposes is generally not a reason to be granted a Swedish firearms license.

The result of the survey come after Sweden saw the most fatal shootings ever last year, with over 60 people being killed due to gun violence, most of which involved criminal gangs.

The Swedish centre-right coalition government announced in early January that it would be looking to create a new strategy to deal with gang violence, which has surged in recent weeks, particularly in the Stockholm area.

In the first 26 days of 2023 alone, there were 13 reported bombings, some of which involved hand grenades.

The situation in the Stockholm region, which saw violence begin after the fatal shooting of well-known gangster Mehdi ”Dumle” Sachit on Christmas Day, drew the attention of Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, who likened the criminal gangs to domestic terrorists.

I don’t doubt for a moment that the police are doing everything they can with the tools they have,” Kristersson said and went on to add, “I think we have come so far in this development that we have to do things we have not done before, these are the domestic terrorists of our time.”

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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