Sweden has still not voted about how and when the EU Firearms Directive (EU Gun Ban) is going to be introduced. Many parties want to use the EU’s minimum requirement, which in many ways already is quite close to the current Swedish legislation. Others want to use the occasion to introduce legislation that goes way past what the EU requires.
For instance, the sitting Government has proposed to introduce a requirement for a permit for all detachable magazines for firearms. The intention was that the new legislation should cover every detachable magazine regardless of capacity and size.
The introduction of the bill has been auto-translated from Swedish below (Original Source).
In the bill, the government therefore proposes a general regulation of detachable weapons magazines. The regulation means that anyone who has a permit or right to possess a certain firearm for shooting must be allowed to have detachable magazines for the firearm if the magazines are intended for the same purpose as the permit or right to possession of the firearm.
In other cases, special permits to hold detachable magazines must be granted under the same conditions that apply to ammunition permits under current legislation. Possession of detachable magazines in violation of the Arms Act’s regulations must be penalized. Most of the Arms Act’s other provisions on ammunition are expanded to include detachable magazines.
The legislative amendments are proposed to enter into force on 1 July 2020.
One of the arguments for this bill was that the Police then could seize firearms magazines found in “criminal environments”, and that there would be minimal changes for persons who already have permits for firearms.
The opposition had their arguments as well, lots of them. For instance, there is already a legislation that the Swedish Police can use if they suspect that certain items are to be used for criminal activity.
Upon research, one member of the Parliament (Sten Bergheden) discovered statistics that the Swedish Police already confiscated about 1,000 magazines per year from criminal environments.
What is a magazine – Lack of definition
Another issue is that there is no real definition of what a detachable magazine is. The way the proposed legislation looked, more or less anything that could be used to feed a firearm would require a permit.
On social media, firearm owners made fun of the bill by posting pictures of PEZ Candy, pointing out that it – in fact – could be used to store cartridges and feed them.
With very strict eyes from a prosecutor, even owning just the empty container of a Magpul PMAG or the only the spring itself could have been illegal without a permit.
And how would you consider a magazine for a .223 Rem versus .300 BLK and a .458 SOCOM? It’s the same physical magazine, but it’s a Kinder Egg in terms of what cartridges it can feed.
Another example, would it be illegal to own a belt, or parts of the belt, for a belt-fed firearm? This was far from clear in the proposed bill.
Below: Translated from Swedish, a Magpul D60 with the text: “Thorsell magazine™ – A minimum of 50 ‘extra strong cartridges’“. The (now retired) Policeman Mr. Thorsell is supposedly one of the architects behind the legislation suggested to the politicians.
Below: A Swedish competitor in the Swedish IPSC Rifle Championship with a JP Rifles JP15. Note the muzzle flash.
A PEZ toy or a magazine? There are many similarities if you want to see them.
A majority of the Swedish Parliament voted NO to regulate magazines for firearms. The vote was made today (April 16).
Below you can find examples of what would or could have been considered as “magazines”.
Which ones would you classify as a magazine?
There is also a majority in the Swedish Parliament to make sound suppressors license-free, but unfortunately, there is no vote planned. This would easy the current legislation and make it similar to Norway and Finland where suppressors are free.
Check here for an extensive explanation of how the new German Firearms Act was implemented about a month ago.
Sources: Svensk Jakt, Expressen, SVD, Swedish Parliament.
Please note that this is an article about Firearms Legislation, and not a political one.