Shooting Sport in Finland
Statistical review of number of guns in Finland varies a lot. This is a little bit amazing because the right to own a gun is been subject to license. According some calculations there is 600 000 gun owners in Finland. There is a gun in every 10 % of domestic houses in Finland according the authority. This is explained by hunting culture. There is no need to own a land by a huntsman.
Shooting ranges all over Finland are mostly small ranges owned by hunting societies. Stringent legislation of authority is setting big difficulties to hunting societies to maintain old ranges and establish new ranges. Stringent legislation is justified by environment issues. Authority or municipalities are not assisting to build new larger shooting centers for hunters and sport shooters needs. Fortunately Finnish Defense Force offers army ranges for practicing in many areas.
Majority of gun owners belongs to hunting, sport shooting or gun historical societies. There is legislation in Finland about hunting, sport shooting and collecting of guns. Huntsman has to be qualified by an examination. Sport shooters have to be a member of shooting clubs. Gun collectors collecting plan has to be approved by authority. Black powder shooters are typically members of sport shooting and gun historical societies.
Finnish Shooting Sport Federation (Suomen Ampumaurheiluliitto, SAL)
Finnish Shooting Sport Federation founded 1919 is organization for all sports shooters. Over 300 societies are members of SAL. There is approximately 35 000 person in SAL. Approximately 15 000 of them are active in there societies. Active shooters are divided as follows: pistol shooting 4500, shotgun shooting 4000, rifle shooting 3000, running target shooting 1500, practical shooting 1000, silhouette shooting 500, black powder shooting 200, bench rest shooting 100, others: 100. Number of active license holders whom participates competitions is approximately 6000.
However there are still several shooting organizations which are not member of Finnish Shooting Sport Federation. One of them is Finnish Biathlon Association.
Finnish Shooting Sport Federation is a member of several international organizations:
- International Olympic Committee, IOC
- International Shooting Sport Federation, ISSF
- International Metallic Silhouette Shooting Union, IMSSU
- International Practical Shooting Confederation, IPSC
- World Bench Rest Shooting Federation, WBRSF