Uncovering the Reasons Behind Finland’s High Rate of Gun Ownership


Finland is well known for its high rate of gun ownership, consistently ranking among the top countries in the world in terms of firearms per capita. But what factors contribute to this high rate of gun ownership, and how does Finland compare to other nations? This article takes a deep dive into Finland’s gun culture, using reliable data to provide a comprehensive understanding of the country’s unique relationship with firearms.


The Numbers: Finland’s Gun Ownership Rate

According to the most recent data from the Small Arms Survey, Finland ranks third in Western Europe for the number of privately owned firearms per 100 people, behind only Austria and Norway. On a global scale, Finland holds the 14th position. This places Finland among the countries with the highest rates of gun ownership, particularly within the context of European nations.

Factors Contributing to Finland’s High Gun Ownership Rate

Several key factors contribute to Finland’s high rate of gun ownership:

  • The popularity of hunting: Hunting is a common pastime in Finland, with many Finns owning firearms for this purpose.
  • The prevalence of shooting sports: Shooting sports are widely enjoyed in Finland, leading to increased gun ownership among enthusiasts.
  • Historical context: Finland was under Russian rule for an extended period and faced challenging security conditions even after gaining independence. As a result, Finns may have less resistance to gun ownership.

Comparing Finland to Other Countries

When examining global gun ownership rankings, the United States stands out as the clear leader, with 120.5 firearms per 100 people. Yemen ranks second with 52.8 firearms per 100 people, followed by Serbia with 39.1. While Finland’s gun ownership rate is lower than these countries, it is still significantly higher than most other European nations.

The Bottom Line

Finland’s high gun ownership rate can be attributed to a combination of factors, including the popularity of hunting and shooting sports, as well as historical and cultural influences. However, it is crucial to recognize that Finland has strict gun control laws and a low rate of gun-related crime. This serves as a reminder that a country’s level of safety cannot be judged solely by its gun ownership rate, and a comprehensive understanding of each nation’s unique context is necessary when examining this complex issue.