A shooting range is an indoor shooting gallery or an outdoor area designed for target shooting with firearms.
A shooting sports complex refers to a shooting range with lanes for several disciplines, authorised for firing more than 300,000 shots per year.
A minor shooting range refers to a shooting range intended for a maximum of 10,000 shots per year.
The establishment and maintenance of a shooting range are activities subject to authorisation (shooting range permit). The establishment and maintenance of a minor shooting range are activities subject to a notification (shooting range notification).
The National Police Board issues the permit to establish and maintain a shooting range. Likewise, the notification concerning a minor shooting range is submitted to the National Police Board.
Shooting range permit
The preconditions for issuing a shooting range permit include that
- the applicant holds the right of possession to the range area;
- the shooting range does not pose any danger to public order and safety;
- the applicant presents rules and regulations for the shooting range that fulfil the requirements laid down in section 9, subsection 1 of the Finnish Act on Shooting Ranges;
- the applicant has not been declared bankrupt or the applicant’s competency is not restricted;
- when the applicant is a natural person, the person is known to be honest and reliable and the person’s personal characteristics are suitable for the task;
- when the applicant is an organisation or foundation, it can be considered suitable for maintaining a shooting range based on the purpose of its activities and other facts;
- when the applicant is a natural person, the person is 18 years old at minimum;
- when the applicant is an organisation or foundation, the persons in its administrative organs, and the managing director, and in a partnership, the partners, and in a limited partnership, the responsible general partners, fulfill the requirements laid down in sections 4 and 5;
- the applicant appoints a person responsible for the operations and safety of the shooting range (range supervisor). This person has agreed to take on the task and fulfills the requirements laid down in sections 4–6.
The National Police Board must request the local police department of the site of the range to provide a statement on the application.
The permit must determine the range supervisor and confirm the rules and regulations that apply at the range.
The permit may also include other provisions, terms and conditions necessary in terms of range safety.
Notification of a minor shooting range
Anyone establishing or maintaining a minor shooting range must submit a notification of the shooting range (shooting range notification) to the National Police Board no later than two months before the range is taken into use. The shooting range notification must include the shooting range rules and regulations, referred to in section 9, and the range supervisor’s details and consent to take on the task.
The National Police Board may impose on range maintenance the orders and conditions necessary for range safety.
Applying for a shooting range permit and submitting a notification of a minor shooting range
More specific provisions on the contents of the application and notification, and the required appendices to the application and notification, are laid down in the Government Decree on shooting ranges.
Use the separate form to apply for a permit. The form Ase 08 fi - Ampumaratalupahakemus (Shooting range permit application) is available on the Forms page (only in Finnish).
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Contents of the application and notification, and appendices
The application concerning a shooting range and a shooting sports complex, or the notification concerning a minor shooting range, must include the following:
- the name of the applicant or the person submitting the notification, the address and personal identity code or business ID;
- the name, location and parcel number of a minor shooting range, shooting range or shooting sports complex;
- the name, personal identity code and address of the proposed range supervisor.
The required appendices to the application and notification:
- a proposal for rules and regulations;
- the proposed range supervisor’s consent to accept the task;
- proof of the applicant’s right of possession to the range area;
- a verification that proves the purpose of the organisation or foundation’s activities;
- the organisation’s decision to establish a range and decision on the range supervisor;
- the possible building permit and environmental permit for an outdoor shooting range;
- for an outdoor shooting range, a map drawing indicating the shooting lanes for various disciplines in the range area and their shooting directions and risk zones;
- an account of the marking of risk zones;
- a structural drawing that indicates the shooting platforms, target equipment, technical ancillary structures for shooting and the safety devices and structures;
- cross sections that indicate the shooting platforms and the location, size and quality of protective structures.
The authority that processes the matter may require the applicant and party submitting the notification to present other clarifications necessary for issuing the permit or regarding the preconditions for processing the notification.
Rules and regulations
The shooting range must have rules and regulations that include provisions on ensuring the safety of anyone present in the range area and its immediate vicinity, restrictions relating to the use of the range, and informing about the provisions and restrictions that apply in the range area.
The rules and regulations and the range supervisor’s contact details must be available in the range area for users.
More specific provisions on the rules and regulations are laid down in the Government Decree on shooting ranges.
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Contents of the rules and regulations
The rules and regulations of a shooting range, shooting sports complex and a minor shooting range must include the following:
- the usage times of the range;
- the precautionary provisions of the range and the cleaning and waste management performed in order to maintain its safety;
- the party managing the shooting range;
- the range supervisor’s name, telephone number or other contact details;
- displaying of the name, location and directions of the range.
In addition, the rules and regulations must include the following, if necessary:
- limiting access to the range and range opening hours;
- the shooting lanes in the range area and the restrictions applying to their firing distances, shooting disciplines, type of firearms, permitted cartridge types, and types and placement of targets;
- restrictions concerning the rights of use of the range;
- allocation of responsibility for range area maintenance;
- the storage location of first aid equipment.
The rules and regulations shall, if the safe use of the range so requires, include a map of the range area, indicating permitted routes, accessibility of routes and shooting platforms, and parking areas.
The rules and regulations must be posted on the notice board, and, if necessary for safety purposes, at the shooting lanes of disciplines.
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The rights and obligations of the range supervisor and range conducting officer
The range supervisor shall ensure that the shooting range is safe and that the rules and regulations as well as the conditions and provisions, imposed in the shooting range permit or on the basis of the shooting range notification, are complied with in the range. The shooting range may not be taken into use before the range supervisor has ensured that the shooting range fulfills the requirements issued in the shooting range permit or on the basis of the shooting range notification, and that the range structures facilitate operations in compliance with the rules and regulations.
If the shooting range is in such a condition that its use poses a danger to the health or property of others than the party maintaining the shooting range, the range supervisor must prohibit the use of the range that causes danger, and notify the party maintaining the shooting range, and the National Police Board about this.
If requested, shooting range users must present proof of their right to shoot in the range to the range supervisor. Shooting range users must obey the range supervisor’s order to interrupt any activity in the shooting range that risks safety or violates the conditions and provisions under the shooting range permit or notification, or the rules and regulations. If a range conducting officer has been appointed for the shooting, the officer also has the right to request proof and interrupt the activity.
More specific provisions on the range supervisor’s supervisory duties are laid down in the Government Decree on shooting ranges.
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The range supervisor’s supervisory duties
The range supervisor must ensure that the range area complies with the permit or notification, permit conditions, the conditions issued on the basis of the notification, and the rules and regulations.
The following must be checked when performing the supervisory duties:
- protective embankments and other protective structures;
- protective screens, target stands, target equipment and other structures;
- firing line covers and shooting platforms;
- fences and warning signs;
- marking of routes, signs and address signs;
- displaying of the rules and regulations;
- other issues influencing the safety of the range.
The following factors must be taken into account in the frequency, extent and performance of supervision: the type of the range, number of users, number of shots fired, the location, and other similar issues.
Submitting the application and notification to the National Police Board
The application and notification, with appendices, can be submitted to the National Police Board by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to the National Police Board / Firearms Administration, Konepajankatu 2, P.O.Box 50, 11101 Riihimäki.
The application and notification are subject to a charge. Detailed provisions on the charges are laid down in the Decree of the Ministry of the Interior (in Finnish) on chargeable performances by the police.
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More information about the topic
Use the separate form to apply for a permit. The form Ase 08 fi - Ampumaratalupahakemus (Shooting range permit application) is available on the Forms page (in Finnish only).
Act on Shooting Ranges in Finlex (in Finnish only) (763/2015)
Government Decree on shooting ranges (in Finnish only) (1307/2015)