Police to harmonize firearms permit practices
New guidelines for the harmonization of practices related to firearms permits took effect at the National Police Board of Finland at the start of August. The aim is to ensure uniform practices in matters related to firearms permits.
Most firearms permit applicants receive a favourable decision. However, sometimes an application must be rejected, conditions must be appended to a granted permit, or an existing permit must be revoked.
‘The guidelines primarily support decision making related to firearms permits in cases where rejecting an application or revoking a permit must be considered,’ says Tarja Ranta, senior adviser at the National Police Board of Finland.
According to Ranta, the guidelines may also be useful to those considering applying for a firearms permit in cases where the applicant is unsure if their record can prevent receiving a permit.
The guidelines include examples of firearms that are considered to fit the approved purposes of use described in the Firearms Act (1/1998).
Its appendices include examples of the most common actions – crimes, offences, unacceptable behaviour – that can affect the granting of a permit or can lead to a permit being revoked. The guidelines (entitled Ampuma-aselupakäytäntöjen yhtenäistäminen) are publicly available in Finnish to increase the transparency of decision making in firearms permit matters.
Ranta stresses that the guidelines are instructions for the application of the Firearms Act and not legislation.
‘The Firearms Act and the Firearms Decree take precedence over these guidelines, so for a justifiable reason, the guidelines can be derogated from as long as the Act and the Decree are complied with.’
The guideline is availabe in Finnish and Swedish and can be requested by e-mail [email protected].